John Atkinson Grimshaw (British, 1836-1893) Twilight 22 x 15in (56 x 38cm)
Lot 71
John Atkinson Grimshaw
(British, 1836-1893)
Twilight 22 x 15in (56 x 38cm)
Sold for US$ 100,000 inc. premium

Lot Details
John Atkinson Grimshaw (British, 1836-1893)
Twilight
signed and dated 'Atkinson Grimshaw 1871' (lower left)
oil on card laid down on panel
22 x 15in (56 x 38cm)

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Private collection, England, since 1970s;
    Hence by descent to the present owner.

    By 1870, Grimshaw had garnered enough success to be able to rent a home suitable for his position as local celebrity, thanks to his new London dealer William Agnew, who quite successfully began selling his paintings. Knostrop Old Hall, just outside of Leeds on the river Aire, was a seventeeth-century manor house built on a hill that offered magnificent views all-around, became the artist's main residence that year. Life at the Old Hall was comfortable and happy, which compelled Grimshaw to expand his repertoire to include a number of views of his new residence seen from different angles, as well as other neighborhood mansions.

    In the present composition, a possibly imaginary Yorkshire manor is seen from the back and below, as an afterthought to the magnificent fall landscape unfolding in the foreground. The pre-raphaelite influence is strongly felt in the careful execution of every leaf and branch, and the preference for autumnal dead leaves as a foreboding of decay of all earthly things. The eye wonders among the tangle of branches, as if seeking a solitary figure deep in meditative contemplation, only to realize that nature in all its majesty is the true protagonist.

    Around the same time, Grimshaw began developing his trademark moonlight paintings. His masterful lighting effects enveloped his views of damp city streets and docks of Liverpool and London in a warm, yellow glow conveying a feel of romanticism and mystery in a newly industrialized society.

    We are grateful to Prof. Alex Robertson for confirming the authenticity of this work based on a photograph.
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