Unseen for a century... Lowry and Munnings self-portraits grace Bonhams


On June 29, Bonhams will auction self portraits by L.S. Lowry and Alfred Munnings in its 20th Century British Art sale in New Bond Street, London.

Group of People with the Artist is estimated to sell for £100,000 -150,000 and was executed in the same year as Lowry staged his seventh one-man show in London.

By this time, (1961) Lowry's artistic reputation was already formidable with many of his regular collectors attempting to buy his works prior to the official opening. He had begun to move away from his ambitious and complex industrial landscapes and focus more on people.

The eight figures in Group of People with the Artist, including men, women and children are collected together in a huddle on a street. Only the subtlest of references indicate the setting; a short diagonal line running through the signature marks the pavement.


Group of People with the Artist by L.S Lowry (£100,000 -150,000)

However, one figure is clearly isolated and distant from the group, and that is the artist himself, depicted in profile on the far left of the composition.

Unseen in public for over a century...

Another subtle self-portrait can possibly be seen in the painting Washing a Cut by Alfred Munnings. It has been suggested that the figure standing to the right of the composition may be Munnings himself.

The artist had a terrific sense of humour, and he included himself in another of his paintings, so he may well have had a bit of fun by including himself here. The painting has not been seen for over a hundred years and is estimated to sell for £80,000 - 120,000.

Other highlights of the sale include a rare work on paper by Dame Laura Knight entitled In the Orchard that is estimated to sell for £100,000 - 150,000.

The work is considered among the finest and most technically accomplished works on paper ever to appear at auction by the artist, and has not been seen in public for over a century.

In the Orchard has also been requested for loan with the forthcoming Laura Knight Retrospective exhibition to be held in 2015. Knight was the first woman artist to be made a Dame.


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