Atkinson Grimshaw was born in Leeds, his father was a policeman, and he started work as a railway clerk. His parents were opposed to his taking up art as a career. Grimshaw was influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites, and in his youth produced vivid, highly finished landscapes. Gradually, Grimshaw developed his own highly distinctive style, and subject matter. He became a consummate painter of twilight, night time, and autumnal scenes. Grimshaw spent holidays at Scarborough, and many of his pictures were set there, and in Whitby. He also painted nocturnal harbour and dockside pictures. He spent some time in London.