Typical of the artist’s drawings of working people in their leisure time, Sunday Afternoon is a print from 1969 by L. S. Lowry. The print shows rows of highly stylised figures taking a walk in the park on their day off, depicted in black almost like silhouettes against the page. Rolling hills form the basis of the composition that seems to be a composite image, created from Lowry’s imagination.
Lowry was primarily interested in depicting places where people came together, in this example he shows a scene of the park, with people from all walks of life going about their day. Sunday Afternoon is an example of the way in which Lowry did not always depict any particular place and was more focused on creating a general impression. Of this the artist said, “Most of my land and townscape is composite. Made up; part real and part imaginary…bits and pieces of my home locality. I don’t even know I’m putting them in. They just crop up on their own, like things do in dreams.”
Often labelled as a naïve ‘Sunday painter’ due to his simplified style where his figures appear like ‘matchstick-men’, Lowry’s prints show that far from this, he was an artist who created his own distinct way of drawing. Lowry portrayed the British working classes and industrial life in a unique way that still rings true today.