Grimshaw, John Atkinson

BORN 6 Sep 1836, Leeds, West Yorkshire - DIED 31 Oct 1893, Leeds, West Yorkshire
CAUSE OF DEATH tuberculosis
GRAVE LOCATION Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire: St George's Fields (Cemetery closed, cenotaph only)

John Atkinson Grimshaw was the son of the policeman David Grimshaw and his wife Mary. During his youth in Leeds he saw works by Holman Hunt, Henry Wallis, Rosa Bonheur and W.P. Frith. In 1848 he was employed at the office of the Great Northern Railway in Leeds. In 1856 he married his cousin Frances Hubbard (1835-1917). Six of their fifteen children reached adulthood.

He had taught himself painting and, ignoring the protests by his parents, in 1861 he resigned from his job to concentrate on his painting. In 1862 he first exhibited in Leeds. His fame soon rose in Leeds and the art dealer William Agnes in London started to sell his works. After he started exhibiting at the Royal Academy his success grew. In 1870 he bought Knostrop Old Hall near Leeds and he rented a second home in Scarborough.

His style was influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites and the landscapes he created were detailed and colourful. After 1870 he painted less landscapes and more nocturnal scenes, like "Liverpool from Wapping" (1875) and "The Thames by Moonlight" (1884). In the 1880s he had a studio in Chelsea near that of James Abbott McNeill Whistler. He had been involved for years in the foundation of the Leeds City Art Gallery. It was opened in 1888 and exhibited there at the spring exhibitions until his death in 1893.

Related persons
• knew Whistler, James MacNeill


Plaque at St George's Fields in Leeds, marking the place where John Atkinson Grimshaw was buried.
Picture by Androom (20 Aug 2015)


John Atkinson Grimshaw - Wikipedia
John Atkinson Grimshaw

Gris, Jean Antoine Arthur

Published: 21 May 2023
Last update: 21 May 2023