Atkinson Grimshaw: Painter of Moonlight

Mercer Art Gallery

16 April – 4 September 2011

Boar Lane, Leeds, 1881 (oil on canvas) by John Atkinson Grimshaw

The first major exhibition of Grimshaw's work in over three decades, Atkinson Grimshaw: Painter of Moonlight reflects the rehabilitation that the artist's reputation has undergone in recent years.Highly successful in his day, the self-taught Grimshaw is now most celebrated for his atmospheric cityscapes, often depicted at dusk or by night. Endowing the familiar streets of Leeds, London and Glasgow with a melancholy beauty, his works balance detailed naturalism with a characteristically atmospheric quality " a product of his delicate manipulations of light.After visiting Grimshaw's studio, Whistler is said to have remarked: 'I considered myself the inventor of Nocturnes until I saw Grimmy's moonlit pictures.'Alongside the classic urban works, this exhibition also showcases Grimshaw's early landscapes, as well as some of his less familiar interiors, painted under the influence of Tissot and the Aesthetic movement in the 1870s.

Don't miss

Paintings of Grimshaw's hometown of Leeds are among his best loved, and one of the most celebrated works on show in this exhibition is the dusky cityscape, Park Row, Leeds.One of the great products of Grimshaw's early preoccupation with natural landscape that can be seen at the exhibition is his Moonlight Wharfedale, which shows the influence of the Pre-Raphaelites. Wharfedale in Yorkshire was a favourite subject for the artist, and here we look down onto a misty valley, eyes guided by the gleam of a meandering stream.Related storiesQuirky news story in The Telegraph about a couple who bought a painting for £100 and sold it for over £100,000 when they discovered it was a Grimshaw.Website featuring biographical and historical information about Grimshaw as well as a comprehensive collection of images of his paintings.YouTube gallery of Grimshaw paintings.Beautifully presented biographical blog about Grimshaw with lots of images.

Venue information

Opening times

Apr – Oct

Tue – Sat and bank holiday Mon, 10am – 5pm (Sun from 2pm)

Nov – Mar

Tue – Sat and bank holiday Mon, 10am – 4pm (Sun from 2pm)

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