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John Atkinson
Grimshaw
English artist
born 1836- died 1893

Nationality:
English

Father of:
Arthur E. Grimshaw (1868-1913)


Biographical Information

John Atkinson Grimshaw
by Paul Ripley

Atkinson Grimshaw was born in Leeds, his father was a policeman, & he started work as a railway clerk. His parents were opposed to his taking up art as a career. Grimshaw was influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites, & in his youth produced vivid, highly finished landscapes. Gradually, Grimshaw developed his own highly distinctive style, & subject matter. He became a consummate painter of twilight, night time, & autumnal scenes. Grimshaw spent holidays at Scarborough, & many of his pictures were set there, & in Whitby. He also painted nocturnal harbour & dockside pictures. He spent some time in London.

Grimshaw was, though, a Northerner, & Leeds remained his base, & his commercial success allowed him to buy Knostrop Hall on the outskirts of the city. For a short time in the mid 1880s, he did have a London Studio.It is rumoured that he was a friend of Whistler. Grimshaw’s output was much more varied than just this however. He painted portraits, interiors, fairy pictures, & most accomplished fancy pictures, of attractive gorgeously dressed young women in opulent interiors. In the early 1890s Grimshaw’s style seemed to be developing in new directions, three pictures showing this are Sand, Sea, Summer, & Fantasy of 1892, & At Anchor 1893. He seemed to be moving towards a freer, less formal style of painting, perhaps influenced to a degree by Whistler. Unhappily this change of direction was not to, be as Grimshaw died of cancer in 1893.

Source: Victorian Art in Britain.

   Books and Related Products About This Artist

November Moonlight

Oil on canvas
76.5 x 63.5 cm
(30.12" x 25")
Private collection

Added: 2004-11-23

Though Grimshaw painted many types of pictures (portraits, 'society' pictures and even the odd fairy painting), it is his landscape work examining different types of light and weather that best exemplified his talents. Grimshaw had a genius for weather, and his use of light allowed him to capture both mood and appearance in his landscapes. He had a unique sense of twilight, of moonlight, of fog and rain - where lesser painters would create mud, his brush left limpid delineations of light and tone.

The cold, grayish-blue of the moonlight illuminates this streetscape. The rutted, damp road reflects this cold light, and the dead trees stand out in dramatic relief. The cart rider is alone, which underscores the unforgiving nature of the season. Everything about this picture says late autumn, chilly air and the onset of winter. However, Grimshaw brings a vital element of life by employing yellowish light to the parlor windows, creating a sense of warmth, of hearth and of refuge. The stone wall, however, which is clearly illuminated by the cold moon, separates our rider from the home - he is alone, with only the cold moonlight for company.

- by James Abbott

First published Friday, August 5, 2011 on the Jade Sphinx

November Moonlight
Knostrop Hall, Early Morning

1870
Oil on canvas
61 x 92.1 cm
(24.02" x 36.26")
Private collection

Added: 2002-02-17
Knostrop Hall, Early Morning
Endymion on Mount Latmus

1879
Oil on canvas
32 x 47 cm
(12.6" x 18½")
Private collection

Artmagick
Added: 2001-10-21
Endymion on Mount Latmus
Iris

1886
Oil on canvas
81 x 122 cm
(31.89" x 48.03")
Leeds Museums and Galleries (United Kingdom)

Artmagick
Added: 2001-10-21
Iris
Iris or Midsummer Night

1876
Oil on canvas
58 x 89 cm
(22.83" x 35.04")
Private collection

Added: 2001-10-21
Iris or Midsummer Night
Spirit of the Night

1879
Oil on canvas
Private collection

Added: 2001-10-21
Spirit of the Night
Bowder Stone, Borrowdale

c1863-c1888
Oil on canvas
400 x 536 cm
(157.48" x 211.02")
Private collection

The Art Advantage
Added: 2001-10-21
Bowder Stone, Borrowdale
View of Heath Street by Night

1882
Oil on board
368 x 537 cm
(144.88" x 211.42")
Private collection

The Art Advantage
Added: 2001-10-21
View of Heath Street by Night
Liverpool Quay by Moonlight

1887
Oil on board
610 x 914 cm
(240.16" x 359.84")
Private collection

Added: 2001-10-21
Liverpool Quay by Moonlight
Dame Autumn hath a Mournful Face

1871
Oil on canvas
61 x 91.9 cm
(24.02" x 36.18")
Private collection

Added: 2001-10-21