A PICTURE connecting two renowned North artists – painted by one and once owned by the other – has turned up at an auction house in Scotland.

In 1964 a version of Norman Cornish’s The Gantry sold for 30 Guineas in an exhibition at The Stone Gallery, in Newcastle.

The buyer was Laurence Stephen Lowry.

The Northern Echo:

The two men had similarities, each drawing and painting scenes of ordinary and working life in the North of England, and were well known to each other.

Mr Cornish and Mr Lowry, always formal in their address to one another, first exhibited together in 1951 at Carlisle's Tullie House: The Northern Realists, and thereafter on a number of occasions in London.

They shared the same agent at The Stone Gallery and during the 1960s continued to exhibit together along with other regional and leading British artists.

Both artists had connections with Sunderland.

LS Lowry was a regular visitor to the North East and he enjoyed painting coastal scenes when he stayed at the Seaburn Hotel, near Sunderland.

The Northern Echo:

Mr Cornish, of Spennymoor, was a part-time lecturer at Sunderland Art College from 1967 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the city university in 2012.

Each artist has a picture in the National Glass Centre at Sunderland where Lowry’s drawing of Monkwearmouth Church hangs opposite Cornish’s Pit Road in Winter – though it is currently at The Bowes Museum, in Barnard Castle, for an extended exhibition.

A Cornish family spokesman, who described the picture for sale as a missing link, said there were differences between the two men too.

Lowry depicted scenes of life in the industrial North-West, often Pendlebury and Salford where he lived and worked for 40 years. Described as a lonely man depicting loneliness, he began his career as a rent collector and he was perceived as an outsider in his community looking in on his subjects.

Mr Cornish painted life in the North-East and was immersed in his community, working underground as a miner during the day and spending much of his leisure time in the pubs of Spennymoor with his marras or workmates both of which feature in his depictions of everyday life and characters.

On Sunday, August 16 the mixed media piece Gantry by Norman Cornish and once owned by LS Lowry will go under the hammer in a contemporary art auction at McTears Auctioneers, in Glasgow.

It has the purchaser LS Lowry Esq inscribed on the label from Stone Gallery.