Art Collections Online

Six Bells, Abertillery, South Wales

LOWRY, Laurence Stephen (1887 - 1976)

(We are not able to provide an image for this item at this time. This is either due to copyright restrictions, or because the item is awaiting digitisation. We apologise for any inconvenience.)

Date: 1962

Media: oil on canvas

Size: 132.0 x 169.0 cm

Acquired: 2001; Loan; Andrew Brownsword Arts Foundation

Accession Number: NMW A(L) 1186

This view of Six Bells Colliery, Abertillery in the Ebbw Fach Valley is one of Lowry's largest works. Wales provided Lowry with subject matter at two points in his career: during the 1920s, when he spent some time in Rhyl on the North Wales coast, and in the early 1960s when his friend and patron, the Stockport businessman Monty Bloom encouraged him to paint the South Wales valleys. Bloom had been brought up in the Rhondda, and these visits reawakened Lowry's interest in the industrial scene. The unusual combination of the rugged landscape of the Valleys and the densely-packed towns inspired a group of paintings which, though small, are some of the most inspirational of the artist's later works. These include a similar panoramic view of Ebbw Vale, 1960, in the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry, and a contemporary view of a hillside near Abertillery, now in the Tate collection. Situated twelve miles north of Newport, Six Bells Colliery was the scene of the worst post-war mining disaster in Wales when, on 28 June 1960, there was an explosion at the colliery and 45 people died. It first operated in 1898 and closed in 1988, the last pit in Abertillery.


ronda williams
30 July 2018, 18:45
Have been looking to buy house in this area, possibly. Came across mention of Lowry visiting and painting Abertillery...and hanging in pride place, in the sitting room of my cottage in Galloway, Scotland, is a print, (think it is anyway) of that mining area from 1961. On the back of the frame, (which I bought complete 4yrs ago from a local Charity Shop) is a sticker which says. "compliments of the Arnold Clark organisation".
20 March 2014, 16:55
Thanks very much for your answer(s)! No inconvenience caused, especially now that I'm sure we'll be able to see and study these paintings. :-)
Looking forward to visiting soon.
Sara Huws
20 March 2014, 12:00
Hi there Anne-Claude

Just to let you know that the 3 paintings you mention are, in fact, on display, and will be in May.

The issue was with our website and it will be updated to reflect the correct information. I apologise for any inconvenience this caused.

Best wishes for your May visit,

Sara Huws
17 March 2014, 09:47
Hi there Anne-Claude,

I'm very sorry that you have not received a response to your initial enquiries - I will investigate and get back to you.

16 March 2014, 10:36
Dear Sara,

I downloaded a file called "art Learning resource - historic art collections", the Lowry painting is mentioned on pages 5 and 6 in the "insight gallery" section.
We want to work on industrialization and coal mining, that's why we've decided to work on three paintings. We've chosen "the steelworks, Cardiff at night" by Walden, "a Welsh collier" by Walters and Lowry.
I've got two questions (sorry to ask them here but I sent two e-mails and haven't received any answers so far):
- Can you tell me if the paintings by Walden and Walters will be in the galleries on May 22nd?
- Do you know a painting that could "replace" Six Bells, Abertillery? I'm looking for something "easy" (at first glance) for teenagers, more naive than the other two?
Thank you for your answers.
Sara Huws
14 March 2014, 09:34
Dear Anne-Claude,

I'm afraid that the image is no longer on display. Apologies for the misleading information on the information pack. So that I can update the pack, would you please mind telling me which resource you downloaded?

14 March 2014, 08:12
I've just printed your teaching material as I'm planning a visit with my school on May 22nd and this painting is supposed to be in the insight gallery. Can you tell me if we can see it on that particular date or will it be on loan? Thanks for your answer.
Amgueddfa Cymru
6 August 2013, 11:45
Dear Gill,
The Museum doese not own Lowry's Six Bells and it is still in artist’s copyright so we do not have the authority to issue a print. You could contact our Image Licensing Officer who may be able to obtain permission from the copyright holder to supply a print.
Graham Davies, Online Curator, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales
Gill Clark, Abertillery
5 August 2013, 14:55
This painting is very important to our community. Why can't we get a print of it?
Amgueddfa Cymru
16 May 2013, 13:55
Dear Lisa,
Thank you for your comment, unfortunately this artwork is not on public display at the moment. If you wish to make an appointment to view this work, please contact:, please note that appointments can only be made during normal working hours (Mon-Fri 9-5), therefore we will be unable to provide this service to you during your visit this coming Saturday.
Graham Davies, Online Curator
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