Even today, LS Lowry is dismissed in some circles as an 'amateur' or a 'Sunday painter', who just painted gloomy Northern scenes and 'matchstick men'.
But this year, the Lancastrian's critical reputation may be heading for an overhaul after the Tate Britain announced plans to exhibit a major retrospective of his work.
According to those famed art critics Sir Ian McKellen and Noel Gallagher, Lowry being snubbed for so many years is merely proof of an anti-Northern bias held by a Southern metropolitan elite - but whatever the reason, he's in good company by being under-appreciated in his lifetime.
In fact, many of the greatest painters from history had it a lot worse, living all their life in abject poverty only to see (or not, as the case may be) their work sell for fortunes after their death.
From Vincent Van Gogh to the creator of Peanuts, here are nine surprising examples of celebrated artists who suffered rejection from the fickle art establishment.