John Atkinson Grimshaw, British painter, was a Victorian-era and Imaginative painter, known for his city night-scenes and landscapes. Some artists of Grimshaw's period, like Vincent Van Gogh and James Smetham, left letters and documents recording their work and lives. 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.
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".
His later work included imagined scenes from the Greek and Roman empires, and he painted literary subjects from Longfellow and Tennyson-pictures including Elaine and The Lady of Shalott. In the 1880s, Grimshaw maintained a London studio in Chelsea, not far from the studio of James Abbott McNeill Whistler. After visiting Grimshaw, Whistler remarked that "I considered myself the inventor of Nocturnes until I saw Grimmy's moonlit pictures". Unlike Whistler's Impressionistic night scenes Grimshaw worked in a realistic vein: "sharply focused, almost photographic", his pictures innovated in applying the tradition of rural moonlight images to the Victorian city, recording "the rain and mist, the puddles and smoky fog of late Victorian industrial England with great poetry".
Grimshaw's paintings depicted the contemporary world but eschewed the dirty and depressing aspects of industrial towns. Shipping on the Clyde, a depiction of Glasgow's Victorian docks, is a lyrically beautiful evocation of the industrial era. Grimshaw transcribed the fog and mist so accurately as to capture the chill in the damp air, and the moisture penetrating the heavy clothes of the few figures awake in the misty early morning. Grimshaw's paintings depicted the contemporary world but eschewed the dirty and depressing aspects of industrial towns. Shipping on the Clyde, a depiction of Glasgow's Victorian docks, is a lyrically beautiful evocation of the industrial era. Grimshaw transcribed the fog and mist so accurately as to capture the chill in the damp air, and the moisture penetrating the heavy clothes of the few figures awake in the misty early morning.
John Atkinson Grimshaw (6 settembre 1836 - 13 ottobre 1893) è stato un artista di epoca vittoriana, "un pittore notevole e fantasioso" e noto per le sue scene di città e paesaggi.
I suoi primi dipinti sono stati firmati "JAG", "JA Grimshaw," o "John Atkinson Grimshaw", anche se alla fine si stabilì su "Atkinson Grimshaw".
Fedele ai dettami realistici degli artisti preraffaelliti, l'artista si specializza in scorci urbani e vedute di grande effetto. Nel quadro presentato oggi si rintracciano alcuni temi tipici della sua opera. Si nota una figura femminile solitaria che percorre il vicolo sul marciapiede bagnato dalla pioggia. Il chiaro di luna filtra tra le nubi e illumina un elegante palazzo. Dalle finestre filtra una luce che evoca calore e protezione. Gli alberi dai rami spogli completano l'alchimia di questa opera di grande suggestione.
Molti dei suoi figli, Arthur Grimshaw (1864-1913), Louis H Grimshaw (1870-1944), Wilfred Grimshaw (1871-1937) ed Elaine Grimshaw (1877-1970), divennero pittori.