The art of John Atkinson Grimshaw, 1836–1893


Spirit of the Night (1879).

Few people recognise the name of John Atkinson Grimshaw today but anyone who’s bought a birthday or greeting card in Britain will have seen his Spirit of the Night fairy painting, one of a generic series he produced in the 1870s that remains very popular despite the painter’s obscurity. Grimshaw would probably be surprised by this, the fairies were a brief diversion (I like the camp Classicism of Endymion on Mount Latmus), his real enthusiasm was for depicting the gold and amber tints of an English autumn. When he wasn’t painting fallen leaves in quiet streets he was capturing the moonrise or a smoky Victorian twilight in pictures of such spectral delicacy they could easily be used as illustrations for stories by Arthur Machen. This site devoted to the artist has many more, including the fairy paintings; perfect viewing for damp and gloomy evenings.


Autumn Morning.


A Golden Beam.

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The art of Karl Friedrich Schinkel, 1781–1841

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