A Manufacturing Town (1922)
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SIZED: 17 x 21
© ESTATE OF L.S. LOWRY
Many of the artist's greatest industrial landscapes are "composite"; an unashamed mixing of reality and imagination. The result is a symbolic distallation of the very essence of the industrial scene.
One can trace the same elements through a wide range of such paintings as this. The smoking stacks, the mills and factories with their towers and cupolas, the distant mine-workings: figures in action, or repose. And pervading everything, the sulphurous, viscid atmosphere heavy with pollution. For this is the apocalypse of grime which, in the twenties and thirties especially, typified the character of the industrial setting that held its occupants securely in a choking gloom.
This, like other similar paintings and drawings, is not therefore a painting of a particular town, but a composite merging of the real and the imaginary to create a visionary conception of the more brutal face of modern industrialism, as it appeared in the first quarter of the twentieth century,
Source: L.S. Lowry RA, 1887-1976: [catalogue of an exhibition held at the Royal Academy], 4 September to 14 November 
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