For 70 years a painting by famous British painter LS Lowry was in the possession of pioneering DNA researcher who helped discover the double helix. The existence of said painting only came to light after the death of Dr Leonard D Hamilton - who helped discover the structure of DNA - in August last year. The painting was recently sold to a private collector in an auction for £2.65 million on Tuesday.
The painting is called The Mill, Pendlebury and is believed to have been painted in 1943. The painting depicts north-west England in an Industrial landscape. The piece seems to be heavily inspired by the mills, factories, chimney stacks and bustle of the country's industrial heartlands, like most of Lowry's work.
The painting depicts the first mill in Britain that was powered by electricity, the Acme Spinning Company Mill which opened in 1905. The entire art world was kept in the shadows about the existence of this painting until the death of Dr Leonard D Hamilton.
Reports indicate that Hamilton had purchased the painting from Lowry when he was still in the early stages of his career and kept it in his room while studying medicine at the University of Oxford.
The painting accompanied him when he moved to the US in 1949, where he went on to make a major contribution to the discovery of the double helix shape of DNA. The painting was sold on Tuesday for £2.65 million at an auction house in London. According to Nick Orchard, head of Modern British Art at Christie's, the painting's history also plays a role in drawing collectors.
If you look carefully at this newly discovered Lowry, you can see kids playing cricket. It’s a painting of the mill at Pendlebury. Opened in 1905 it was demolished in 1984. pic.twitter.com/eOkiqMj5aH— Tim Mansfield (@tjm_1966) December 23, 2019