Thursday, 13 June 2013

John Atkinson Grimshaw

The other weekend we were in Scarborough, up by the castle. I happened to wander down a little side street, heading towards the cliff top, when I came across a blue plaque honouring a name I recognised – John Atkinson Grimshaw.

 Scarborough Bay

Grimshaw was a Leeds born artist from the second half of the 19th century who specialised in painting in a photo-realistic style delighting in shadow and reflection, often in city scapes. Even now I can remember the Grimshaw print hanging in the doctor’s surgery waiting room when I was 5 or 6 years old (although at that age I didn’t know the artist’s name).

Autumn Afterglow

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. His skill was working with a variety of light sources, in capturing the mood of the passing of twilight into night. After visiting Grimshaw, Whistler remarked that "I considered myself the inventor of Nocturnes until I saw Grimmy's moonlit pictures."

 Autumn Morning

Salterhouse Dock, Liverpool