JAMES LAWRENCE ISHERWOOD (1917 - 1989)
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COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
20th Century, 1969
Oil on board
540 mm x 410 mm
(21 inch x 16 inch)
585 mm x 450 mm
(23 inch x 18 inch)
Good sized original, oil on board, depicting Snowden, the highest mountain in Wales. Some lovely colours in this piece giving depth and interest to the mountain and surrounding lake, expressing the natural beauty of this area for thousands of visitors each year. A stunning example of Isherwood's work and a great collectors piece.
Born in 1917 into a working class family in Wigan, James Lawrence Isherwood’s family were cobblers, and he worked in the shop until released by his father’s death in the 1950's.
He was known locally as ‘the eccentric artist’, and many of his Impressionist-style works were painted under the influence of alcohol.
Isherwood was a friend of the artist L. S. Lowry, who purchased his Woman with Black Cat and displayed it at his home. Lowry paid £5 for the picture from Isherwood's Av Guard exhibition in Manchester.
Although Isherwood’s work barely sold during his lifetime, his paintings of Wigan life as well as scenes of Scotland, Wales and Spain now sell very well at auction.
His work didn’t become commercially successful until after his death, when his sister-in-law and former agent organised exhibitions, but his paintings are now widely collected and very popular.
Other known collectors include Prince Charles, who bought one of Isherwood's seascapes from a sale held at Cambridge University. The former Director General of the BBC Hugh Greene commissioned a portrait of Mary Whitehouse, his vociferous critic, from Isherwood; the artist depicted her with five breasts. Isherwood gave the painting a punning title - "Sanctity" - and Hugh Greene allegedly hung it in his office so that he could throw things at it.
A BBC documentary, 'I am Isherwood' was made in 1974 about the artist and his work. This was transmitted twice by the BBC once in 1974 and again in 1975. Isherwood died on 9 June 1989 of cancer.