The golden-red glow of the autumnal sun illuminates this countryside scene by British painter John Atkinson Grimshaw. Showcasing the celebrated painter’s mastery of light and atmosphere, the oil is a captivating example of Grimshaw’s meticulously rendered evening subjects. While the majority of the artist’s works depict moon-washed cities and the fishing villages of Britain, the location of this piece is the British countryside, giving it a sense of romance that would have resonated with its Victorian audience.
Born in Leeds the son of an ex-policeman, Grimshaw began painting while he was employed as a clerk for the Great Northern Railway. In 1861 he left his job to pursue a career as a full-time artist. By 1870, he was successful enough to rent Knostrop Hall, a 17th-century mansion near Temple Newsam, which is featured in many of his paintings. His continued success enabled Grimshaw to build a house in Scarborough and to rent a studio in Chelsea.
His early paintings of still lifes and local landscapes were executed with a precision reminiscent of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood’s ideals. Later in his career, he turned his attention to moonlit urban scenes. He was fascinated by the relatively new art of photography and often used a camera obscura in developing his compositions. He strove relentlessly to perfect his own very individual vision. John Atkinson Grimshaw died on October 31, 1893, leaving three sons, Arthur, Louis and Wilfred, and a daughter, Elaine, who also became artists. Grimshaw’s work can now be seen in galleries all over the world including the Tate Gallery in London and the Leeds Museum.
Canvas: 20” high x 30” wide
Frame: 33 1/2” high x 43 1/2” wide