Lowry cricket painting to be auctioned during World Cup
A painting of children playing cricket by the artist LS Lowry is due to go on display before its auction, when it is expected to sell for about £800,000.
The rarely-seen oil painting, owned by art collectors Neil and Gina Smith, will go on sale at Sotheby's in London during the Cricket World Cup.
It set a world record for a Lowry work when it was last sold in 1996 for £282,000.
It will be displayed for five days from Thursday at Salford gallery The Lowry.
Simon Hucker, senior specialist in modern British art at Sotheby's, said: "This outstanding painting is in many ways a 'classic' Lowry - depicting the tough environment of the industrial cities of the north at the turn of the 20th Century - and yet the subject of children engaged in a game of cricket makes it quite unusual."
- Born near Manchester in 1887, LS Lowry is best known for his depictions of working class life, often distinctive for his use of "matchstick" figures
- He studied art while working as a rent collector during the day
- His initial drawings were made outdoors, on the spot, often on scraps of paper
- After years of painting and exhibiting around Manchester, Lowry received his first one-man exhibition in London in 1939 and rose to national fame
- The artist rejected a knighthood in 1968
- He died aged 88 in 1976, just months before an exhibition at the Royal Academy in the capital
Lowry rarely depicted cricket in his work and only painted a formal match once, a Sotheby's spokeswoman said.
Titled A Cricket Match, the 1938 painting will also be exhibited in London between 14 and 17 June.
It will be auctioned on 18 June after England play Afghanistan at Old Trafford cricket ground, in Lowry's birthplace of Stretford.
The artwork is estimated to sell for between £800,000 and £1.2m.
Lowry's 1949 painting The Football Match sold for £5.6m in 2011 - a record price for a work by the artist.