Previously Unseen Works by Isherwood

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This week we are delighted to have acquired two previously unseen works by the late Wigan artist James Lawrence Isherwood, both featuring his home town and most popular subject matter, Wigan.

Isherwood cap and shawl wigan
Cap and Shawl Wigan by James Lawrence Isherwood – SOLD

The first of the two paintings is the largest and executed on canvas which was a feature of some of his late 1970s paintings.  Having got engaged to Patricia White in 1975 who was a wealthy widow from Neston on the Wirral, Isherwood could finally afford canvas’ unlike the previous decade when most of his work was painted on hardboard.  This particular composition could be considered one of best paintings of this subject matter featuring the shawled woman and flat capped figures flanked by many other working class figures and silhouetted against the mills and chimneys in the background.  This is a truly rare painting bearing in mind both the subject matter, colour palette and period, the painting is titled to the reverse and dated 1977.

Wigan Sunday by James Lawrence Isherwood – SOLD

The second painting comes from the same private family collection who purchased the works from Isherwood and his fiancé Pat in the late 1970s.  This example is completed in the same bold colour palette in 1978 but this time on his trademark hardboard.  Again titled to the reverse, the palette of these two paintings really demonstrates the unique nature of Isherwood’s work at the time.  Contrasting against the subdued tones chosen by other leading Northern artists of the day such as L S Lowry, William Turner and even Geoffrey Key at the time, Isherwood was truly breaking new ground with his bold compositions.

At the time of writing both pieces are available to view in the gallery and purchase on the website here and it will be a truly lucky collector who is able to acquire one of these fine and rare examples which such strong provenance.