This work was painted during the early years of John Atkinson Grimshaw’s artistic career.

It is a view taken from Batty’s Wood, Woodhouse, Leeds looking towards St Chad’s Church, and was made just a short walk from Grimshaw’s home. According to the artist’s grandson, the figure with black hair in the lower left of the family group is Grimshaw’s wife Theodosia. This rare watercolour is chiefly significant for the way it encapsulates the urban experience that Grimshaw made the centre of his art: nature experienced in close proximity to industry. In the middle distance, the burgeoning industrial city of Leeds continues to encroach on the countryside and the newly built mansions of the industrial middle classes are seen nestled closely to the mills that forged the city’s wealth. ‘View of Leeds from Woodhouse Ridge’ marks a key moment within Grimshaw’s personal artistic history and marks his move away from his Pre- Raphaelite contemporaries. This watercolour captures the beginnings of Grimshaw’s vision, exposing the interplay of nature and industry.


By descent to Guy Ragland Philips; Jeremy Maas, 1968; Bryan and Celia Skinner estate

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