John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836-1893)
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John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836-1893)

Dead calm - on the Mersey

Details
John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836-1893)
Dead calm - on the Mersey
signed and dated 'Atkinson Grimshaw. V.3.93.' (lower right) and further signed, inscribed and dated 'Dead calm - on the Mersey./ Atkinson Grimshaw - V.3.93.' (on the reverse)
oil on board
9 ¾ x 19 3/8 in. (24.8 x 49.2 cm.)
Provenance
Bought by the father of the present owner in London, circa 1960.
Special notice

These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

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Lot Essay

Executed in 1893, the present picture is one of a small group that can be seen as the summation of Grimshaw's lifetime exploration of the varying effects of light. With a restricted palette, and startling economy of means, a ship is depicted against a horizon, punctuated by the twinkling of distant lights. The influence of Grimshaw’s friend and neighbour James McNeil Whistler's famous series of Nocturnes has clearly been absorbed, and yet the style remains distinctively Grimshaw's own. So accomplished were these nocturnal scenes that they led Whistler to remark upon seeing them ‘I considered myself the inventor of nocturnes until I saw Grimmy’s moonlight pictures’.

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