Created after an oil painting by L. S. Lowry from 1948 of St. John the Baptist Church in Burford, Burford Church is a signed lithograph print from the 1970s. It shows a simple street scene with terraced houses framing the image and the church as the focal point at the end of the street. Lowry populates the scene with a few of his stylised figures wandering towards the church.
Burford Church is one of Lowry’s more simplistic scenes, showing a more or less true to life rendering of a single street. The scene is made up of a very limited colour palette and the buildings are outlined in with black producing a more abstracted style. Lowry often claimed to use just five colours in his paintings, vermillion, ivory black, Prussian blue, yellow ochre and flake white.
There are no shadows cast from Lowry’s highly stylised figures in this print and along with the artist’s use of white paint for the ground and sky, this gives the impression that there is no sunlight in this scene. The artist once said of this, “You never see the sun in my work…because I can’t paint shadows. I kept trying for years.”