"John Atkinson Grimshaw (6 Sept. 1836 – 13 Oct. 1893); Victorian-era artist, a « remarkable and imaginative painter« known for his city night-scenes and landscapes. Grimshaw was born in Leeds. In 1861, at age 24, to the dismay of his parents, he left his job as a clerk for the Great Northern Railway to become a painter.

He first exhibited in 1862, mostly paintings of birds, fruit and blossom, under the patronage of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society. Grimshaw’s primary influence was the Pre-Raphaelites. True to the Pre-Raphaelite style, he created landscapes of accurate colour, lighting, vivid detail and realism. He painted landscapes that typified seasons or a type of weather; city and suburban street scenes and moonlit views of the docks in London, Leeds, Liverpool, and Glasgow also figured largely in his art.

His careful painting and skill in lighting effects meant that he captured both the appearance and the mood of a scene in minute detail. His paintings of dampened gas-lit streets and misty waterfronts conveyed an eerie warmth as well as alienation in the urban scene. In the 1880s, Grimshaw maintained a London studio in Chelsea. Grimshaw’s paintings depicted the contemporary world but eschewed the dirty and depressing aspects of industrial towns.

Grimshaw left behind no letters, journals, or papers; scholars and critics have little material on which to base their understanding of his life and career. He died 13 Oct. 1893, and is buried in Woodhouse Hill Cemetery, Hunslet, Leeds. His reputation rested on, and his legacy is based on, his townscapes. https://louisesanfacon.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/john-atkinson-grimshaw-2/
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Daniel Pirani


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