LONDON – Today, £100 doesn’t get you very far – you could just about manage a return train ticket from London to Manchester, with lunch thrown in. But in 1966, £100 was enough to buy you a painting by one of the country’s most popular and sought-after artists, L.S. Lowry. That is how much the Rev. J.D. Gilbert paid on 11 October of that year when he bought Man Sitting in a Wheelbarrow directly from the artist: a work which beautifully embodies all of the hallmarks of Lowry’s very unique style.

L.S. LOWRY, MAN SITTING IN A WHEELBARROW, 1965. ESTIMATE £40,000–60,000.
TO BE OFFERED IN MADE IN BRITAIN AT SOTHEBY'S LONDON ON 30 SEPTEMBER.

Lowry was an obsessive observer – sketching people as they went about their daily lives during his time spent as a rent collector in Salford, on the fringes of Manchester’s industrial heartland. His characters, often quirky or down-at-heel, but never to be mocked or laughed at, represented the people with whom he lived and worked. They have a story to tell, so take a look, and then look again into the wonderful world of L.S. Lowry, which even inspired this video by Manchester band, Oasis.

L.S. LOWRY IN HIS STUDIO, AS PHOTOGRAPHED BY TOM TRUEFITT IN JULY 1959.