John Atkinson Grimshaw (British, 1836-1893) London, St James' Street
Lot 85
John Atkinson Grimshaw
(British, 1836-1893)
London, St James' Street
Sold for £ 50,000 (US$ 69,724) inc. premium

Lot Details
John Atkinson Grimshaw (British, 1836-1893)
London, St James' Street
signed and numbered 'Atkinson Grimshaw F42' (lower right); signed, inscribed with title and numbered (on the reverse)
oil on a photographic base laid down on canvas
30.5 x 46cm (12 x 18 1/8in).

Footnotes

  • We are grateful to Alexander Robertson for confirming the attribution to John Atkinson Grimshaw on first hand inspection.

    From 1880, Grimshaw began to produce paintings of London and the Thames. Alexander Robertson notes that 'the atmosphere in the capital was a particular attraction, with its dense fogs and river mists'.1 In 1885 Grimshaw rented a studio in Chelsea; he was now funding houses in Leeds, Scarborough and London, perhaps stimulating a necessity to increase his artistic output.

    Grimshaw left no written details of his photographic paintings. His son Louis was a photographer and Grimshaw was known to be interested in the theatre, and in particular the sophisticated special effects which were being experimented with at The Grand Theatre in Leeds. Grimshaw's grandson recorded that Grimshaw used photographs and lantern studies as references for his paintings. He also suggested that Grimshaw occasionally projected images onto his canvas and then used the outlines as the basis for his paintings. However, as Robertson notes, the artist 'did occasionally paint over photographs completely in the 1880s' with the prints stuck on to a stretched canvas.2 They are usually signed with a code, consisting of a letter and a number and often signed and inscribed in the traditional manner of his painting.

    A very similar composition to the present lot was sold at Christie's, London, 11 June 1993, lot 113 (as one of a pair with Pall Mall), and formed part of an exhibition entitled Atkinson Grimshaw, Painter of Moonlight, 16 April - 4 September 2011 (later travelled to Guildhall Art Gallery, London, 19 September 2011 - 15 January 2012), no. 83.

    1 Alexander Robertson, Atkinson Grimshaw, London, 1988, p. 73-74.
    2 Ibid, p.116
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