1848 - 1918
Kirkstall Abbey

Oil on canvas, monogrammed lower right and dated ‘1876’
Image size: 24 x 36 inches (61 x 91.5 cm)
Period frame

Royal Academy, 1878 no. 692


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William Henry James Boot

Much like his contemporary, John Atkinson Grimshaw, Boot appears to have been influenced by the Pether family who were renowned painters of nocturnes. He was a book illustrator as well as a renowned oil and watercolour artist, producing engravings for the London Illustrated News and Art Journal. He wrote Trees and How to Paint Them in 1883.

Boot was born in Manchester. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1874 to 1884, showing mainly English and Continental landscapes. He is known to have travelled extensively in Germany, France and North Africa. Boot was a member of the Royal Society of British Artists and of the Arts Club, who listed him as a “painter and writer on Gothic architecture”. Boot also painted domestic genre and interior scenes but tended to concentrate on landscapes. Boot lived and married in London. He is buried with his wife in Hampstead. The subject of this painting, Kirkstall Abbey in Yorkshire, was a place Boot often visited. Three figures to the right gaze admiringly at the view, with the moonlight reflected on the path they stand on.