"Northern Art” is the term used for paintings and sketches depicting the urban and industrial landscapes found in the Northwest region, most notably around Manchester and Lancashire. Images associated with the genre will depict scenes from the early 20th century to date, concentrating on city scenes of factories, mill workers, canals and back streets.
The first and most famous exponent of this genre was L.S. Lowry, with many of the other well-known artists associated in the school, such as Harold Riley, Arthur Delaney and Theodore Major were friends of his or influenced by him. Younger artists such as Peter Spanaway and Liam Spencer are continuing L.S. Lowry’s legacy with a contemporary take on the genre.
The Northern school of artists first came to the attention of serious collectors in 1999, with the sale of a Lowry painting for £1.9 million, and the value of artists such as Helen Bradley and William Turner began to increase accordingly. Much of the appeal of classic Northern art is nostalgic, as it depicts a vanished era, and it’s now become so popular that exhibitions, collections and even galleries are dedicated to the genre.
As with all artwork, the value of paintings of the Northern school varies significantly according to the artist, provenance, media, size, condition and subject matter. At Peter Wilson’s, our in-house experts have years of experience in assessing Northern art by a range of artists, so do get in touch if you’d like to learn more about a piece you own, or discuss a potential sale or valuation.
Northern art is still an excellent investment, and we handle examples regularly. If you are interested in adding to an existing collection or making a one-off investment in a specific painting, please contact our experts directly and ask to be added to our e-mail list so that we can let you know when we have items of interest coming up in future sales.
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Below are a few highlights, or click here to browse our Sold Lots Archive.
Geoffrey Key (1941-), Standing Figure, signed and dated '87, titled on verso, oil on canvas, 60 x 39.5cm.; 23.75 x 15.5in in artist's original ...
Sold for 2,900 GBP
Geoffrey Key (1941-), Wooded Valley, signed and dated '00, titled on verso, oil on canvas, 44.5 x 54.5cm.; 17.5 x 21.5in. Artists` Resale Right ...
Estimated at 3,000 - 5,000 GBP
Arthur Delaney (1927-1987), Manchester street scene with figures and trams, signed, oil on board, 28 x 30cm.; 11 x 12in. Artists' Resale Right ...
Sold for 2,300 GBP
Geoffrey Key (1941-), Blue Hills II, signed and dated '02, titled on verso, oil on canvas, 39.5 x 49.5cm.; 15.5 x 19.5in. Artists' Resale Right ...
Sold for 2,900 GBP
Trevor Grimshaw (1947-2001), Storm Clouds, signed and dated '72, ink wash, 16 x 20cm.; 6.25 x 8in. Artists' Resale Right (droit de suite) may ...
Sold for 360 GBP
William Turner F.R.S.A., R.Cam.A. (1920-2013), Sandbach, signed, titled and dated 1987 on verso, oil on board, 21.5 x 19cm.; 8.5 x 7.5in. Artists' ...
Sold for 2,100 GBP
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