Sunday, June 13, 2010
John Atkinson Grimshaw - A moonlit landscape
signed 'Atkinson Grimshaw ILMI' under the slip (lower left)
oil on board
14¼ x 18 in.
This is a rare work from the 1870s, the decade in which Grimshaw established his reputation as a painter of 'nocturnes'. In contrast to some of his later depictions of the lanes of suburban Leeds there is nothing formulaic about it: the artist has responed to the landscape before him with a fresh eye and the greatest sensitivity. The composition is carefully balanced, with a lonely figure wending his way towards the farmstead in the trees to the left. The cloudscape in the 'mackerel' sky is particularly finely judged.
In his early career Grimshaw painted views, notably in the Lake District, with Pre-Raphaelite intensity and attention to detail. Later, in the 1860s, he enjoyed the friendship of John Linnell. Linnell was the son-in-law of Samuel Palmer, and some of Palmer's, and Linnell's ideas, undoubtedly influenced the younger artist, especially after works by Linnell were shown at the Leeds Infirmary in 1868. The present picture falls squarely within this tradition of English Romanticism, an elegy to the particular beauties of the British countryside made magical by the light of a full moon.
at 6:00 AM