LONDON - The late British star Cilla Black’s enthusiasm for painter L.S. Lowry has been revealed as three paintings from her collection are announced for the Modern & Post-War British Art sale on 13 & 14 June.


Cilla Black was one of the UK’s favourite pop stars of the swinging sixties and topped the charts with hits including Burt Bacharach’s "Anyone Who Had A Heart". She was discovered while working as a cloakroom attendant in Liverpool’s Cavern Club and was close friends with The Beatles, who went on to write songs for her.

In the 1980s she become a TV personality watched by millions and was much-loved for never forgetting her working class roots back in the North of England – a world reflected in many of Lowry’s paintings.


The singer’s sons told Sotheby’s: “Mum and dad bought art that they loved and that they could relate to, and since L.S. Lowry painted the world that our mother grew up in there was very much a personal connection to each of these particular paintings.

“It was Brian Epstein and his partner Peter Brown who first introduced them to buying art when they were able to afford to, and he introduced them to a number of artists who were prominent at the time. Dad had a good eye for seeking out great works, and mum wanted to feel a connection to the works on a personal level and Lowry was an artist they were both drawn to.”

L.S. LOWRY, FAMILY GROUP, 1938. ESTIMATE £300,000–500,000.

Each of the paintings depict day-to-day scenes and family life and they had pride of place in the family’s living room for many years.

Her family also revealed that The Black Church was presented to the singer for her birthday: “The third Lowry they bought, The Black Church, was actually a surprise for mum that dad bought for her 50th birthday – by then he knew which particular works by the artist would appeal to her and the ‘Black’ in the title had additional resonance.”

L.S. LOWRY, THE BLACK CHURCH, 1964. ESTIMATE £120,000–180,000.

Discussing the works, Sotheby’s specialist Simon Hucker said: “For many it may come as a surprise that Cilla owned and cherished works by Lowry, but then why wouldn't  she?

“Lowry painted the world that she grew up in: the tightly packed terraces and backstreets of the cities of the industrial North. His work records and celebrated the working-class culture that gave Cilla her identity and which she never wanted to lose despite becoming a national celebrity.

L.S. LOWRY, THE SPIRE, 1949. ESTIMATE £100,000–150,000.

“Lowry's paintings are accessible, but they're also complex, resonant with a poetry that anyone born in the north of England in the war years would have understood."

The three L.S. Lowry works feature in the Modern & Post-War British Art sale on 13 & 14 June.