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L.S. Lowry RA 1887-1976

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L.S. Lowry - Child with Doll

Child with Doll, 1968

Pencil drawing
16 x 11.25 ins (40.64 x 28.58 cms)
Signed and dated

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Provenance

with The Lefevre Gallery, London, 1971
Private Collection
Bonhams sale, London, March 2008
Private Collection

Exhibition History

London, The Lefevre Gallery,Drawings by L.S. Lowry, 4 February - 13 March 1971, cat.no.46 (ill.b&w)
London, Bethnal Green Museum,Children and their Toys in English Art, December 1974 - February 1975, cat.no.50
Salford, The Lowry,Line by Lowry, 16 September 2006 - 28 January 2007 and in continuous exhibitions until 2016

Literature

Mervyn Levy,The Drawings of L.S.Lowry, Public and Private, Jupiter Books, London, 1976, pl.254

General Notes

During the 1950s Lowry moved away from painting the industrial landscape. Having discovered the ability to capture the essence of a character with just a few brushstrokes, Lowry began to take an even closer look at his subjects and presented them on their own or in small groups. These drawings and paintings were to continue unabated for the rest of Lowry's life and with particular obsessive intensity in the 1960s. At first these drawings were not well received by the general public who had grown used to his industrial scenes, but now they are highly valued by collectors of Lowry's work.

Lowry's early drawings of children had been touched with a lightness and playfulness that escaped his adults, weary and downtrodden as they were from the reality of adulthood. But later on in his work, Lowry started to look at the less innocent aspects of childhood and towards a darker side of youth. An innocent theme of a child carrying her doll is here turned into something slightly more sinister. With lack of narrative, sparse background detail and no indication of setting, we are forced into direct confrontation with this powerful character, and through the simplification and distortion of form, the doll Lowry has depicted is as real and lifelike as the girl herself, providing a humorous yet strange touch to the drawing.

Lowry was reportedly fascinated with dolls, and his cousin May recalled occasions when they played together with dolls as children. Later in life Lowry was to become especially captivated with the ballet
Coppelia in which a life like doll, created by a certain Dr Coppelius, exerts a powerful hold over a young villager who falls in love with her.

The piercing direct gaze of the girl and her eerie smile while she holds her doll upside down is a very powerful image

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