English artist John Atkinson Grimshaw, who lived from September 6th, 1836, to October 13th, 1893, is best remembered for his nighttime depictions of metropolitan environments. The historian and scholar Christopher Wood described him as a remarkable and inventive painter.
Grimshaw’s love of realism was born out of his enthusiasm for photography, which would later inspire his artistic endeavors. Although fully self-taught, he is known to have projected subjects onto canvas using a camera obscura or lenses, compensating for his limitations as a draughtsman and his weak understanding of perspective.
These are some undeniable facts about Atkinson as an artist. Some of his contemporaries disapproved of this method, which Caravaggio and Vermeer may have also employed, believing it showed less skill than painting intuitively. Some said his paintings seemed to show no marks of handling or brushwork, while others were unsure if they should be accepted as paintings. Many others did, however, recognize his mastery of color, lighting, and shadow.
Atkinson’s paintings describe his exceptional capacity to evoke intense emotional reactions in the viewer. As a result, scholars have tried to learn about John Grimshaw to understand better who he was as an artist. Below are some of the museums in which his unique paintings are housed.
Scarborough art gallery
No other creative artist with such a distinguished diplomatic stature as Grimshaw, who resided right next to the picturesque Castle-by-the-Sea, in the twilight of the 19th century, is drawn to the remarkable beauty of the Scarborough coastline. Grimshaw’s fame was founded on the magnificent “moonlight” paintings he mastered during his Scarborough tenure, which are still popular today and during his lifetime.
Thomas Jarvis, a wealthy retired brewer who resided in The Towers, facing Castle Road, was his primary local customer and landlord. Grimshaw’s magnificent waterside abode, Castle-by-the-Sea, was built next to the patron’s primary residence. His own residence’ expansive center room (which later served as the primary guest house) is probably the most important reminder of Atkinson Grimshaw’s four years spent living at Castle-by-the-Sea. This space was obviously created with an artist’s needs in mind; the glamor astounds many.
Additionally, he constructed the castellated bungalow’s curved double flight of steps, which likely included an elaborate stone balustrade in the 1870s but has since vanished. Finally, the artist grew exotic plants in the conservatory along three sides of the building, some of which served as paint pigments.
The Scarborough monument has several classic exhibitions of Grimshaw’s signature “moonlight” paintings; these are permanently preserved in a priceless collection. The Burning of the Spa Saloon, a gem that surfaced in 1876, soon after John Grimshaw traveled from Leeds, is thought to be the most classic model. The artwork’s gleaming foreground remarkably features Jarvis’ portraits alongside Grimshaw and other family members side by side.
The Thyssen-Bornemisza museum
The Thyssen-Bornemisza collection has been reorganized; on the Second Floor, Old Masters from the early 19th century are on display (the changes have mainly affected the 17th and 18th Dutch painting rooms).
Modern Masters from Impressionism through the 20th century can be found on the First Floor, together with an exhibition of American art from the Thyssen Collection. In addition, a selection of 140 paintings from the permanent collection, the Carmen Thyssen Collection, and other loans from the Thyssen family are on display in the show, which is open to the public in rooms 55 to 46.
The new installation of 180 pieces from the Carmen Thyssen collection is housed on the ground level of the museum, which has its entrance at the start of the hall. The museum is home to one of Grimshaw’s well-known works, Canny Glasgow, which was created in 1887. One of John Atkinson Grimshaw’s latter paintings, who dedicated his life to painting, held the following philosophy: “Music is ephemeral-Art (painting and other forms of art) is eternal-relatively speaking.”
A. Grimshaw’s output increased in the early 1880s, and he started looking at new subjects. He expanded his range to include works depicting the Thames, urban areas, and more dock scenes.
His paintings from this time were very well-liked and had a long waiting list because they captured late Victorian England well. Finally, a Liverpool art dealer named Jackson informed Grimshaw that he would buy as many dock scenes as he could paint because they were in high demand.
One of Leeds’ greatest renowned artists’ moonlight masterworks has been returned to the city after being purchased from a private collector. The painting by Grimshaw shows a lone female figure looking over the Rive Aire towards Hunslet.
It was created in 1879 and is a rare instance of the artist’s social realist scene painting. At the Leeds Art Gallery, it will hang adjacent to another piece of his art. The industrial workers’ situation was poor, and strike action was frequent when he painted the moody scene across the river from Knostrop, where he lived.
Atkinson’s painting, purchased from a private collector earlier this year, will now hang in the gallery next to Reflections on the Thames – Westminster, another piece by the artist. This picture by Grimshaw will be among other paintings included in the collection at the Leeds Gallery.
The top three museums that house the majority of John Grimshaw paintings are the ones mentioned above. However, some other museums have one or two works of art created by a remarkable artist. These museums include, among others, the Woodend Gallery and Studios, the Harris Museum and Art Gallery, and the York Art Gallery.
Grimshaw avoided industrial areas’ grimy and dismal characteristics while depicting the modern world. Grimshaw didn’t leave any journals, letters, or papers behind. His townscapes are the foundation of both his legacy and fame. In the latter part of the 20th century, there was a resurgence of interest in Grimshaw’s work, and several significant exhibitions were held in his honor.