Showing a portrait composition of a street scene, Berwick Upon Tweed is a print from 1973 by L. S. Lowry. The scene is viewed from a high point, possibly from a set of stairs implied by the brick wall in the bottom left corner of the print, and the print is compacted with town buildings that follow the street up to a vanishing point.
Lowry was a regular visitor to Berwick-upon-Tweed, a town in Northumberland, producing more than 30 paintings and drawings of the town. This depiction of the town is typical of Lowry’s stylised realism, with a cluster of his ‘matchstick-men’ populating the foreground of the print. Berwick Upon Tweed is a casual scene, showing the figures going about their daily business; chatting in groups, walking their dogs, and taking a trip to the shops.
Much like many of Lowry’s town scenes, this print is depicted in a limited palette of muted colours. Elements of humour and caricature can be seen in the print, but Berwick Upon Tweed is largely characterised by what art historian John Rothenstein called “a kind of gloomy lyricism.” Lowry often claimed to use just five colours in his paintings, vermillion, ivory black, Prussian blue, yellow ochre and flake white.