L. S. Lowry’s lithograph, View Of A Town from 1973, shows an industrial vista, seen from a high point in the town, with people walking along the pavement in the very foreground of the image. The print shows many features typical of Lowry’s work such as smoking chimneys, terraced houses and figures from all walks of life going about their daily business.
Elements of this print convey a sense of realism, but like many of Lowry’s works, this is a composite image. Lowry’s paintings were fundamentally composed from a variety of repeated motifs, growing increasingly sentimental as his career went on. The artist said, “I hadn’t the slightest idea of what I was going to put in the canvas when I started the picture, but it eventually came out as you see it. This is the way I like working best.”
As the composition stretches further back, the industrial buildings seem to be piled on top of one another, as the scene moves down the hill of the town. Black smoke from the mills merge into the sky and clouds, and there seems to be no distinction between the natural and the industrial. There is an unclean, smoke-filled atmosphere to this scene due to Lowry’s use of colour and the figures appear to be naturalised within the industrial environment.