The 1870s was a highly successful decade for Grimshaw, and one that saw him develop his moonlight scenes into the works that have now become synonymous with his name. The decade also saw his reputation spreading, with works being accepted at the Royal Academy (the first in 1874), the London art dealer William Agnew, and exposure at the Yorkshire Exhibition of Arts and Manufacturers.
Grimshaw produced a number of moonlight paintings of Roundhay Park, some of which rank amongst the finest he ever produced. Of particular interest to him was Waterloo Lake, a former quarry flooded following the Napoleonic Wars, which he depicted a number of times. Very similar to the present lot is Waterloo Lake, Roundhay Park, Leeds (Alexander Robertson, Atkinson Grimshaw Phaedon, Oxford, (Pl. 31), of which Robertson notes that although the painting is small, the placing of the figure, the fence and overhanging branches could not be more finely done'.
We are grateful to Alexander Robertson for his help in preparing this catalogue entry.