John Atkinson Grimshaw (British, 1836-1893) Glasgow Docks
Lot 113
John Atkinson Grimshaw (British, 1836-1893) Glasgow Docks
Sold for £204,000 (US$ 342,887) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
(n/a) John Atkinson Grimshaw (British, 1836-1893)
Glasgow Docks
signed and dated 'Atkinson Grimshaw/1881+' (lower right)
oil on card laid down onto board
30 x 50cm (11 13/16 x 19 11/16in).


  • Grimshaw first painted Glasgow in the early 1870s and as with Liverpool he quickly established the subject as one of his most popular, continuing the theme into what were to be his last years.

    The simple elements of a line of buildings facing the docks across a usually wet road with figures and a carriage or two remained fixed. However such was the popularity of this composition that he often mixed up buildings and shop signs from one town to the other. What appealed to contemporaries and to us today is the explosion of light across the whole picture, flooding down from the sky and illuminating the wet ground creating a colourful, animated surface.

    In fact Grimshaw's great achievement was to transform what was no doubt a muddy and grimy street scene into an elegant townscape fit to adorn the walls of the houses of the new middle class. In effect making the reality of industry seem acceptable as a subject for decoration.
    Glasgow and Liverpool were the mother country's links to the rest of the empire around the world.

    We are grateful to Alex Robertson for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.
  1. Sam Travers
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