Knostrop Hall Early MorningJohn Atkinson Grimshaw, painted before 1893

John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836-1893) was born in Leeds and began his working life as a clerk, but, to the consternation of his parents, left this job to be an artist. Happily, he achieved considerable success and popularity. He lived in London for a while, establishing himself in his chosen profession. However, he remained true to his Northern roots and returned there in later life, basing himself at Knostrop Hall in Leeds, West Yorkshire in the 1870s. Knostrop Hall was built in the 17th century and survived until the 1960s when, like so many others of its ilk, it was demolished due to lack of money for its upkeep..

Grimshaw was greatly inspired by the Pre-Raphaelite style, painting scenes in vivid detail and with accurate colour and lighting. He was skilled at capturing seasons and types of weather, and is especially known for his moonlit views of city and suburban streets and of the docks in London, Leeds, Liverpool and Glasgow.



By Atkinson Grimshaw (http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/Tag/knowsthorpe) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Wrap Up Your Painting

  • How many building materials did you spot in your buildings?
  • How did the placement of the buildings in the painting make you feel?
  • What viewpoint did you choose to stand at?
  • How did your impression of the scene change once you placed yourself inside the picture?
  • How do you feel now you’ve completed this activity? If you enjoyed it, why not add more Look at Paintings audio guides to your week? And don’t forget, you can take these guides with you to your local gallery and try them whilst standing in front of ‘real life’ art