Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Cityscapes of John Atkinson Grimshaw

John Atkinson Grimshaw (b. 1836) was a Victorian artist who became famous for his sombre views of the dockyards and his nocturnal scenes of urban lanes with leafless trees silhouetted against the moonlight sky. During his later life, he became a close friend of James McNeill Whistler who admired his work and admitted: ‘I considered myself the inventor of nocturnes until I saw Grimmy’s moonlight picture.
In his early work, John Atkinson Grimshaw was influenced by John Ruskin’s creed of ‘truth to nature’ and adopted the detailed Pre-Raphaelite technique of the Leeds painter, John William Inchbold. Towards 1865, he renounced this painting style. He painted many urban scenes in which moonlight and shadows were the most striking features. The towns and docks that he painted most frequently were Glasgow Liverpool. Leeds, Scarborough, Whitby and London.

Whitby Harbor by Moonlight

Liverpool Docks

Liverpool from Wapping

Baiting the Lines

Hamstead Hill

St. Paul's Cathedral

Blackmon Street London

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