Castle By The Sea is a lithograph from 1969 by L. S. Lowry that shows a monochrome sketch of a seaside landscape with a number of figures enjoying the beach. The sea was a significant source of inspiration for Lowry. During the 1960s, the artist regularly visited the northeast, staying at the Seaburn Hotel in Sunderland in a room from which he could see the North Sea.
Unlike other British artists such as J. M. W. Turner, Lowry’s rural landscapes did not record the effects of light or weather and instead focused on the presence of people and their leisure activities in the landscape. There is very little detail in the sky and the ground is rendered flat by Lowry’s use of line. The artist’s ‘matchstick-men’ stand out against the landscape, appearing like silhouettes as they go about their business.
Initially trained under the Impressionist master, Adolphe Valette, Lowry was interested in recording the nuances of everyday life and would sketch during the day to record his observations of the world around him. Castle By The Sea is one such study, maintaining a sketchy quality as though executed quickly from life. During his prolific career, the artist produced over 8,000 drawings.