Lowry’s Canal and Factories goes on display at Duff House

Canal and Factories captures the mills, factories and smoking chimneys of the industrial towns of Runcorn and Widnes on the river Mersey
Canal and Factories captures the mills, factories and smoking chimneys of the industrial towns of Runcorn and Widnes on the river Mersey

A masterpiece by much-loved English painter L.S. Lowry has gone on display at Duff House at Banff this week.

Canal and Factories captures the mills, factories and smoking chimneys of the industrial towns of Runcorn and Widnes on the river Mersey, and features Lowry’s famous ‘matchstick men’. Painted in 1955, the scene combines observed and invented elements that powerfully depict mid-20th century industrial Britain.

The painting is the latest to be loaned from the collections of National Galleries Scotland as part of the annual Masterpiece series, and will be on display at the Georgian mansion in Banff until May next year.

Corinna Leenen, Duff House collections manager, said: “We are delighted to host this masterpiece from the National Galleries of Scotland here at Duff House. Canal and Factories is a fine example of the industrial cityscapes Lowry painted throughout his career and is sure to attract many visitors to see this work of Britain’s preeminent painter of industrial life.

“Its new setting allows visitors to compare two worlds: the splendour of Duff House and grand manner style of 18th century painting, and Lowry’s hard-edged record of the life of the early twentieth century British working class.’

Laurence Stephen Lowry was born in Stretford, near Manchester, in 1887. He is best known for his depictions of urban landscapes, largely inspired by his native Manchester and nearby Salford.

Christopher Breward, director of Collection and Research at National Galleries of Scotland, said: “We are delighted to bring Lowry’s evocative scene to Duff House for the annual Masterpiece loan, part of our ongoing commitment to open up the National Galleries of Scotland collection to new audiences across Scotland and beyond.

“Painted in 1955 ‘Canal and Factories’ is a wonderful example of the artist’s unique view of life in the industrial city.”

Entry to view the painting is included in the Duff House admission price, and is free for members.

To find out more about exhibitions and events at Duff House, visit https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/duff-house/