A painting by celebrated Lancashire artist Laurence Stephen Lowry has sold for more than £1m at Tennants Auctioneers in Leyburn.
The North Sea went for £1,070,381 (inclusive of all fees) at Tennants’ recent modern and contemporary art sale.
The painting was last seen on public view in an exhibition in 1967, the year after it was painted, and has since been in private hands.
A spokesperson for Tennants said: “Lowry was fascinated by the sea.
“At once both beautiful and dangerously powerful, it was a constant source of inspiration to the solitary artist and he painted it throughout his life; however, the majority of his seascapes depict the North West coast, the resorts of Lytham and Rhyl where he had spent many a holiday with his somewhat overbearing mother.
“In these he painted seafronts bustling with holiday makers and boats scudding across sunlit seas.
“The North Sea, painted in 1966, is one of the finest examples of his rare large-scale seascapes. After the death of his mother in 1939 and he was free to choose his own holiday destinations, Lowry frequently stayed for long periods of time at the Seaburn Hotel in Sunderland, which he became deeply attached to and where the staff took great care of him.
“Here he always stayed in the same room, which looked straight out at the empty expanse of the North Sea, the water and sky melding at the horizon.”
The painting was sold from the estate of a woman in the North West.
Born in Lancaster, she had a special affinity with the sea sparked by childhood holidays to St Bees on the Cumbrian coast. After studying to become a classical pianist in Perugia and Paris, she returned to the North West to marry, and together with her husband set up a successful business.
She would meet Lowry in Morecambe, and later recounted his delight in the simple pleasures of eating ice cream and his visible enjoyment of the seaside, and the pair bonded over their shared love of the sea.