A major exhibition telling the story of LS Lowry’s love affair with the Pre-Raphaelites is currently on display at The Lowry in Salford until 24th February.

Supported by Sotheby’s, the exhibition brings together works by Lowry’s two favourite artists, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Ford Madox Brown, alongside Edward Burne-Jones and others.

Having grown up right here in Manchester – where we happen to have one of the best public collections of Pre-Raphaelite art in the country – it’s perhaps unsurprising that Lowry developed a long-standing love for the work of the Pre-Raphaelites.

As a young man, he considered Manchester City Art Gallery home to some of the greatest paintings by his favourite artists – including Rosetti’s The Bower Meadow and Ford Madox Brown’s Wilhelmus Conquistador (The Body of Harold).

Brown, Ford Madox; Wilhelmus Conquistador (The Body of Harold); Manchester Art Gallery

He also visited Manchester’s Town Hall to see Ford Madox Brown’s murals, which depict the rise and progress of Manchester and were completed when Lowry was just a little boy.

In the Autumn of 1911, during his student days, Manchester Art Gallery hosted a ‘Loan Exhibition of Works by Ford Madox Brown and the Pre-Raphaelites’ with over 320 works on display for just three months between September and November.

To complement the exhibit, the Gallery also produced catalogues detailing the exhibit – and Lowry’s copy survives still, suggesting that it had quite an impact on him.

Manchester Art Gallery today is home to an impressive collection of Pre-Raphaelites and many of the works exhibited in 1911 remain firm favourites with visitors today – including Lowry’s all-time favourite Rossetti painting, Astarte Syriaca.

Astarte Syriaca – Rosetti

However, many pieces are currently out on loan – so if you want to see them this month you will need to visit The Lowry.

Manchester Art Gallery has leant many of Lowry’s favourite pieces to The Lowry for this exhibition, whilst others – including the much loved Astarte Syriaca – are with the National Gallery of Australia to the end of April.

From well-known classics to pictures rarely displayed in public, this exhibition includes works formerly owned by LS Lowry alongside some of his favourite pictures in public and private collections.

Open until 24th February, don’t miss your chance to visit The Lowry’s major exhibition exploring LS Lowry’s passion for the Pre-Raphaelites. Gallery opening times are 11am – 5pm Sunday to Friday, and 10am – 5pm on Saturdays. Free. Donations welcome.

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