JOHN ATKINSON GRIMSHAW
A Lady in a Classical Interior
signed and dated u.r: 1874
oil on panel
26.5 by 49.5cm., 10½ by 19½in.
The panel appears slightly bowed. There are some rubbing frame abrasions and a few losses, notably to upper edge; however these are obscured by the frame rebate. A localised area of crauelure and slight paint lifting in the vase to the right of the composition, this appears to be stable. Overall appears in good condition.
Under ultraviolet light there is a heavy opaque varnish. Some retouchings to the upper and lower frame edges. Some possible infilling to the above mentioned area of craquelure.
Held under glass in a decorative gilt frame.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Roy Miles Fine Paintings, London;
Julian Hartnoll, London;
The Pre-Raphaelite Trust by 1979;
Sotheby's, London, 12 July 2007, lot 23, where purchased by Stan Battat
Leeds City Art Gallery, Atkinson Grimshaw 1836-1893, 1979-80, no.32
This painting of a woman reclining on a bench or bed in a loosely defined but recognisably classical interior is one of a small group of figurative subjects by the artist from the 1870s. Although Grimshaw had already embarked on a career as a landscape painter and had begun to gain a reputation and some degree of commercial success for his Pre-Raphaelite-derived views of the upland landscapes of the Pennines and Lake District, he seems to have decided in the 1870s to attempt a more ambitious style of art. This was the period when Grimshaw turned to the paintings of the Dutch-born artist Lawrence Alma Tadema - who lived in London from 1870 - for new ideas about how the ancient world might be evoked in figurative art. Grimshaw may have seen paintings by Tadema in Yorkshire - the Dutch artist's The Vintage Festival (Hamburg Kunsthalle) was shown in Hasse's gallery in Leeds in 1872. Furthermore, in the 1870s, Grimshaw took to making regular visits to London, and seems to have made a positive effort to respond to and assimilate new metropolitan artistic ideas. The evocation of the ancient world - by the introduction of columns, statuary, mosaics and classical craters - as seen in Grimshaw's Woman in a Classical Interior - is strikingly reminiscent of certain paintings by Tadema. Grimshaw, like Tadema, seems to have relished such exotic trappings for their own decorative value within the composition, rather than intending to use them to give archaeological authenticity to the painting.