by kind permission Richard Heath

James Lawrence Isherwood F.R.S.A. – F.I.A.L ( 1917 – 1989 )

We hope you find the information contained in the site of use. If you require more in depth details of Isherwood’s life and work may we suggest This is the official Isherwood estate website which is very good and up to date. It contains in its gallery section the largest body of the artists’ work ever compiled.

There are two publications available – the excellent illustrated Isherwood by Stephen Eckersley available from and a new Biography by Dr Brian Iddon available through

Richard Heath runs and Both sites have lots of interesting information and a comprehensive selection of work available to purchase. Richard, like Bob McWilliam at the official site, have worked tirelessly to bring Isherwood to the wider public since the 90s and Richard has been pivotal in assisting us with our collection.

Other good sites are run by Martin Heaps who is very knowledgeable about Northern art and specialises in modern British artists, particularly Isherwood/Major/Key/Lowry amongst others. Martin has also been helpful sourcing works for our collection.

Dave Myers, who runs, is again very knowledgeable. He collaborated on the illustrated Isherwood publication and has copies available – although the first additions are fast becoming collector’s items. His site also has a selection of work for sale.

Geoffrey Shryhane who is an authority on Isherwood and briefly managed him wrote; “Just as they laughed at L.S.Lowry in the 20’s they made fun of Isherwood 40 years later. Laugh they did, but they are not laughing now as the two Lancashire painters take their rightful places in the world of art. Of course financially it is invidious to make comparisons. Lowry sells for millions – Isherwood for thousands – but there are those who say given time, Isherwood has a fair chance at emerging as the superior artist.”

Below we list some quotes and pieces of interest produced by kind permission of the Isherwood estate through to whom we are most grateful.

Lowry in his studio with Isherwood's "Minnie the cat" second from top Copyright Harold Riley

Lowry in his studio with Isherwood’s “Minnie Small with Kitten” second from top Copyright Harold Riley

“I only buy art I like I and I bought an Isherwood.”
– LS Lowry

Lowry purchased “Minnie Small with Kitten” from Isherwood and it hung on his studio wall until he died in 1976. There is pictorial evidence of this at

“Isherwood is almost the last artist of enduring note who refuses to be managed into financial security. It’s painting which interests him, not money.”
– Financial Times

“A man living in the wrong age, living in the Paris 1900 style but in Wigan in the 1970s.”
– BBC producer, Douglas Boyd

“Lowry’s true heir.”
– Liverpool Daily Post

“He is a remarkable artist, prolific, explorative, vivid, compassionate, gifted and dedicated.”
– Daily Herald

“Isherwood is unquestionably an artist of distinct talent.”
– Art News & Review

“A distinctive style of dark dank impressionism is utterly persuasive.”
– Robert Clark, The Guardian

“The most likely to follow in my footsteps.”
– LS Lowry

“Posterity may be proving him [Lowry] right.”
– Simon Spence, Independent on Sunday

He was awarded the Silver Medal of the Academy of Rome and elected an Honorary Member of the Royal Society of Arts. He is listed in the International Guild of Monaco, Brussels and London.

A BBC documentary was made entitled “I am Isherwood” in 1974. Please contact us if you have a copy or any information.

“An emotionally handicapped Isherwood can still knock most of the others into a cocked hat. I predict he will still be collected when most of today’s artists are forgotten.”
– Stephen Dixon, The Guardian

“His bolshie palette strokes make contemporaries look weak-kneed, effete. Savage and uncompromising, Isherwood is scaling new heights. He paints like no one else. No school or style can hold him.”
–  Mervyn Levy

The International Arts Guild of Monaco listed Isherwood as “one of the most important living artists in Europe”.

Isherwood’s last London show was held posthumously in 1992 at the Mall Gallery SW1 and was opened by George Melly.

If you Google James Lawrence Isherwood you will find more information is becoming available as interest continues to build.