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Biography

John Atkinson Grimshaw (6 September 1836 – 13 October 1893) was an English Victorian-era artist now best known for his nocturnal scenes of urban landscapes.

Today, he is considered one of the greatest painters of the Victorian era, as well as one of the best and most accomplished nightscape, and townscape, artists of all time. He was called a "remarkable and imaginative painter" by the critic and historian Christopher Wood in Victorian Painting (1999).

Grimshaw's accuracy and attention to realism was criticised by some of his contemporaries, with one critic claiming that his paintings appeared to ‘showed no marks of handling or brushwork’, adding that ‘not a few artists were doubtful whether they could be accepted as paintings at all’. However, other contemporaries recognised his mastery of lighting and technique, and James McNeill Whistler, whom Grimshaw would go on to work with in his Chelsea studios, stated, “I considered myself the inventor of nocturnes until I saw Grimmy’s moonlit pictures”.

His early paintings were signed "JAG", "J. A. Grimshaw", or "John Atkinson Grimshaw", though he finally settled on "Atkinson Grimshaw".

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