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Leeds and the Atkinson Grimshaw nocturnes

November 18, 2013

I hadn’t been in Leeds for some years, but we went on Saturday mainly to see the Atkinson Grimshaw nocturnes in the Leeds Art Gallery.

I have long been a fan of Atkinson Grimshaw. His night scenes of Victorian cities are quite superb. The use of light in the paintings miraculous. No one does gaslight and moonlight better. How he managed it is beyond me. If you are in Leeds do go and have a look at them. They have a couple of interesting Sickert‘s as well.

Leeds has a number of streets of grand Victorian building. Look up from the ghastly modern fascia’s as you wander around and you could easily be back a century or more.

As with most British cities – just as in Victorian times – wealth and poverty live together in Leeds. In the arcades of the Victoria Quarter are shops selling jewellery and scents for hundred and thousands of pounds. Some don’t even put up a price – “If you need to ask you can’t afford it.”

Yet, just a few yards away from this very conspicuous consumerism are people begging or preparing to bed down in shop doorways.

But for the moment, the art gallery is free. The building itself is worth the visit – it is magnificent. Go and have a look.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 18, 2013 2:26 pm

    Thanks for introducing me to Atkinson Grimshaw – the painting on the Leeds Gallery website is stunning.

  2. November 18, 2013 6:19 pm

    There are a lot more paintings on various website. Grimshaw’s work often features on book covers as well.

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