Friday, November 21, 2008

John Atkinson Grimshaw - Moonlight on the Lake

[Moonlight on the lake, Roundhay Park, Leeds] 1872
oil on canvas

[Haunt of the Heron] '72
oil on canvas
Grimshaw was at his height in the 1870's. In 1874 he first exhibited at the RA and the dealer William Agnew began to buy his works. In 1872 the House of Commons commissioned him to paint four views of the Roundhay Estate, in consideration of the Leeds Corporation Improvement Bill that proposed to turn this estate into a Public Park.
The early 1870's saw the development of the moonlight paintings with their amazing lighting effects, justly famous to this day. They reflected the literary atmosphere of the day and caught the mood of the late Victorians and there is little doubt that Grimshaw was influenced by writers such as Wordsworth, Browning and Shelley and particularly Tennyson.
Haunt of the Heron is believed to be Red Pike in Cumberland.
Grimshaw used a number of unusual painting effects, including mixing sand with his paints. He used photography extensively to 'capture' scenes.

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