John Atkinson Grimshaw: the Thames by moonlight with Southwark bridge, 1884

Docks and Bridges: Atkinson Grimshaw’s Ships and Masts


John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836 – 1893) is a great Victorian painter, nearly unknown in France – except in some book covers – but thankefully better known in the UK. A few years ago I was thrilled to see a lot of his paintings in an exhibition in London.

Grimshaw is famous for his moonlit, gaslit landscapes and cityscapes. I like his way to show those big Victorian industrial cities in a dreamy, nearly magical way.

Some of his paintings are wonderful fantasylike portraits of ships, docks, quays and bridges, forests of masts fit for a modern industrial Merlin.

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