Atkinson Grimshaw

When he was 24 years of age, Atkinson Grimshaw (born John Atkinson Grimshaw) decided to follow his heart, and left his job as a clerk in order to become a painter. Born in 1836, this English man was a Victorian-era artist who was referred to, before and after his death, as an imaginative and remarkable painter.

His first works were of fruits and birds, which were seen in an exhibit in 1862. It didn’t take a lot of time for his name to become well-known in his native land and in different nations, as well. As the years went by, his primary influence was the Pre-Raphaelites. Due to this influence, one can see that most of his works were created of realism, vivid detail, lighting, and of accurate color.

Atkinson’s had a superb skill in lighting effects, and he was known for always being careful while conducting his works. Mr. Grimshaw never rushed to get a painting done. If his creation was not complete perfection, he wouldn’t show it to anyone. This English painter was able to capture the mood and appearance of any scene in minute detail.

His painting that focused on the nightlife tended to have alienation in the urban scene and eerie warmth to them. John’s most notable paintings are Shipping on the Clyde, Spirit of the Night, Nightfall on the Thames, Dulce Domum, and On Hampstead Hill which is considered to be one of his finest works.

Besides being a painter, he was a devoted husband to his cousin Frances Hubbard and father of many children. Most of his children ended up being painters just like him, but none of them were able to garner the type of popularity that he was able to garner in his lifetime. Some of John’s grandchildren are also painters who are just starting to garner a name for themselves in the painting world. Some of them are always hands-on in everything that relates to their grandfather’s works, such as Guy Rangland Phillips, who never fails to give interviews so that new generations can know who his grandfather was.

Unlike other well-known artists who left papers, journals, and letters behind that went hand-in-hand with their work, John didn’t do this; therefore, there is not a lot of background about his career and life. This great painter passed away on October 13, 1893 of tuberculosis. His remains remain buried in St George’s Fields. Atkinson Grimshaw’s paintings are often exhibited in different exhibitions, which take place in different nations. 

View John Atkinson Grimshaw Gallery