Laurence Stephen Lowry was born in Old Trafford, Manchester (UK), 1887. He moved to Pendlebury in Salford with his parents in 1909, where he was to live for nearly 40 years.
Despite the inexorable link between Lowry and working class life, he did not grow up in poverty. He had few friends at school and passed no exams, but it was decided that he should enrol at Manchester School of Art which he did in 1905, for evening classes. He joined Salford School of Art for evening classes in 1915, which is where his work on the matchstick figures developed.
He spent much of his working life walking the poorest streets of Manchester and its surrounding area, and this is where his vision formed.
Lowry first exhibited in 1919 at Manchester Art Gallery. By 1945 Lowry had had 3 exhibitions and was starting to establish himself. By the 1950s the Royal Academy had invited him to join and his fame and success were assured.
Lowry always claimed loneliness and dissatisfaction, but one wonders to what degree he really craved anything different. As he said himself, 'Had I not been lonely, none of my work would have happened.'
He deprived himself of many of life's simple pleasures - living in isolation - and the price he effectively paid to be a great artist was his happiness.
He also painted a few pictures of London, including one of Piccadilly Circus, with his trademark 'matchstick people' wearing bowler hats and London fashions.
By the early 1930s he was exhibiting at the Royal Academy in London. He was awarded an honorary MA at Manchester University in 1945, and Doctor of Letters in 1961, elected to the Royal Academy in 1962, and given freedom of the City of Salford in 1965 - many other honours followed later.
He left Pendlebury in 1948 & moved to Cheshire, where he lived until he died in 1976.