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Laurence Stephen Lowry

1887 – 1976

The Tolbooth, Glasgow
Oil on board
55 x 45.5 cm
Purchased 1955 © The Estate of L.S. Lowry. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2017. Photography Norman Taylor


This is a rare painting of Glasgow by Lowry, made when he visited the city in 1946/7. It depicts Tolbooth Steeple, which stands at Glasgow Cross in the old heart of the city. Known for his ‘matchstick’ people and townscapes featuring factories and mills, Lowry was probably attracted to the tower because it echoed the industrial chimneys of northern England.

In the early 1950s Helen Kapp, Director of Wakefield Art Gallery, approached Lowry to paint a view of Wakefield for the collection. Sadly, the funds could not be found. The Tolbooth, Glasgow was bought instead from a Lowry exhibition at the gallery in 1955.