L S Lowry was born in Old Trafford, Manchester. In 1903 he took a job in a Manchester office and his small income allowed him to take a private art lessons; he later attended evening classes at Manchester School of Art, where one of the tutors was the Impressionist painter, Adolphe Valette. Lowry gradually became aware of the industrial landscape and decided to use this as his inspiration; developing a style that was all his own. His earliest industrial scenes date from around 1912 and they continued to be his main subject matter until the 1940s. He portrayed them for over 30 years, recording the changes brought about by urban redevelopment and mill closures. His work then on focussed on figure groups, single figures and the sea. Lowry was a solitary man who lived all of his life in the North West of England, he never married, had few close friends and cared little for creature comforts (although he did amass a collection of works by the Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti). He did not teach or establish a school of painting but he was amongst the most notable artists of his time. The Lowry Centre in Salford has the largest holdings of works by Lowry.