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The Earliest Known Sports Painting by L.S. Lowry, Depicting Crowds Gathering for a Rugby Match

London
To be Unveiled in Public for the First Time in Over 50 Years
Ahead of its Auction Debut at Sotheby's This Summer

British Art: Modern/ Contemporary
29 June at Sotheby’s London

Painted in 1928, Going to the Match is among the earliest known, if not the earliest, depiction of one of L.S. Lowry’s most iconic and timeless subjects – that of spectators thronging to a sporting occasion. Famed for his images of football, it is significant that it is a rugby match he chose to paint first, no doubt testament to the importance of the Rugby League to Northern communities. One of only a small handful of paintings of the sport known to have been painted by Lowry, the extremely rare work is an exceptional example of the beloved artist’s unique visual language. In this painting, the red flag seen flying by the ground, as well as the red scarves worn by several of the crowd members, hints at the Salford Red Devils – Lowry’s local team.

Having remained in the same family collection since 1972, and only exhibited once before now in 1966, Going to the Match will be offered with an estimate of £2,000,000 – 3,000,000 as part of Sotheby’s inaugural British Art: Modern/ Contemporary live-stream auction this summer. The painting will travel to New York, Edinburgh and Dublin for public exhibitions ahead of the auction, before going on view at Sotheby’s New Bond Street from 22 – 29 June.

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