John Atkinson Grimshaw was a Leeds-born painter famous for his moonlit city scenes and landscapes. In 1861, and in the face of parental opposition, Grimshaw left his job as a clerk to pursue a career in art.
He began exhibiting in 1862 under the patronage of Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society. He retained strong links with the city throughout his life and is buried in Woodhouse cemetery.
Working in the tradition of Pre-Raphaelite art, Grimshaw demonstrated an attention to detail, matched to a remarkable skill in rendering lighting effects, which ensured his success.
By the 1880s Grimshaw had a studio in Chelsea near James Whistler who, whilst painting in a starkly different style, praised the undoubted effectiveness of his moonlit scenes.
Unlike the Pre-Raphaelite artists, Grimshaw painted the modern world, but his scenes of the docks of Liverpool and Glasgow, sharply focussed and theatrically lit, create a lyrical, romantic mood.
Grimshaw’s artistic reputation has suffered the same decline as many of his contemporaries, but there has recently been a revival of interest in his work, reflected in the major exhibition taking place at Harrogate’s Mercer Art Gallery in 2011 as part of Art in Yorkshire – supported by Tate.
via Art In Yorkshire
John Atkinson Grimshaw – The complete works.
- Atkinson Grimshaw: Painter of moonlight – picture preview (independent.co.uk)