“‘Going to the Game’ is one of the earliest, if not the oldest, known depictions of one of LS Lowry’s most iconic and timeless subjects – that of distressed spectators at a sporting occasion,” Sotheby’s said in a statement. communicated.
Lowry is renowned for his images of crowds at football matches, using his famous ‘matchstick’ style of people against a monochrome palette background to illustrate the cold and gray of northern England.
In 2011, Lowry’s 1949 painting “The Football Match” sold for 5.6 million pounds ($ 9 million), while another work, “Football Ground” from 1953 was purchased by the British Association of Professional Footballers for £ 1.9million ($ 2.9million) in 1999.
“Going to the Match” is one of Lowry’s few paintings relating to the sport of the rugby league, which has a strong fan base in the north of England.
In August 1895, 22 clubs formed me to form the Northern Rugby League and break away from rugby, allowing working class players to be compensated for wages lost while playing.
“The red flag seen flying on the ground, as well as the red scarves worn by several members of the crowd, allude to the Salford Red Devils – the home team at Lowry,” Sotheby’s said.
Previously exhibited only once in 1966, the painting has remained in the same family collection since 1972, and will be shown to the public in New York, Edinburgh and Dublin before being auctioned in London on June 29.
“ People think crowds are all the same ”
In a conversation with art critic Edwin Mullins, according to Sotheby’s, Lowry said, “People think crowds are all the same. But they’re not, you know. Everyone is different. Look! This man has a tic. He was limping. He drank too much beer. It’s wonderful isn’t it. “
While working as a rent collector, Lowry attended art school part-time for 13 years.
“Going to the Match” was painted the same year – 1928 – that a then 41-year-old Lowry completed his part-time art school stint.
“Lowry was the ultimate spectator,” said Frances Christie, vice president of Sotheby’s UK & Ireland. “In his compositions focused on sports subjects, it was the crowd that fascinated him above all.
“Not only will this probably be the first sports-related image Lowry painted, but it is also one of his very first depictions of a mass of people coming and going from anywhere.
“In this phenomenal painting, the figures lean forward in unison, emphasizing their common goal of being drawn to the rugby posts clearly visible on the left side of the canvas.
“The feeling of pre-game energy, excitement and anticipation is palpable and will resonate with any sports fan today, almost 100 years after his painting.”
Lowry died in 1976 at the age of 88.