This is one of Grimshaw's favourite subjects. He painted Whitby between 1867 and 1888, and this particular viewpoint, looking across to the Abbey on the cliff top, occurs in many of his pictures of the town. It was next to this Abbey, at the Church of St Mary, that Lucy had her encounter with Count Dracula in Bram Stroker's thriller.
A larger version of the subject exists, painted in 1878. It has been suggested that in such paintings a connection with the famous Whitby photographer, Frank Meadow Sutcliffe, is evident, although which artist emulated which is open to conjecture.
We are grateful to Alexander Robertson, Curator, Leeds City Art Gallery, for his help in the preparation of this catalogue entry.