The Quayside in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1895

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The painting in the header above (and below in the article) is by Arthur Edmund Grimshaw, and it depicts The Quayside in Newcastle upon Tyne, as painted by Grimshaw in 1895.

Public domain photograph, via Wikimedia Commons.

Note: The official title of the painting is The Quayside, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Despite the large looking image of The Quayside that you can see here, this oil on canvas painting is very small. The Tyne & Wear archives and museums (TWAM) website tells us that the size of the painting is 28.6 cm high by 46.1 cm wide.

The painting hangs at the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Source: TWAM website

The Quayside in Newcastle by George Edward Grimshaw
The Quayside in Newcastle upon Tyne by Arthur Edmund Grimshaw

Why I have chosen to write about The Quayside in Newcastle by Arthur Edmund Grimshaw

Quite simply because I find this painting beautiful in its colours and details. It evocatively depicts a time and place in the history of Newcastle upon Tyne. It also contains railway tracks from a bygone era, implying presence of commercial activity, as is shown by the ship moored at the quayside.

Regular visitors to this website are familiar with my interest in tramways and railways.

About the official description of the painting

Interestingly, the associated description provided by the TWAM website tells us that there is a tram in the painting. I am not an expert in the history of Newcastle upon Tyne, but the shape of the wagon in the middle ground of the painting does not look like the silhouette of a tram*. It suggests to me more the shape of a train wagon or break van, which would be more likely, given the industrial heritage of The Quayside. Moreover, if the painting did indeed show a tram, I would expect to see evidence of tramway infrastructure which appears to be completely absent from the scene.

*Source: TWAM website

Newcastle Libraries Flickr site

Newcastle Libraries have their own Flickr site with creative commons images, and this is a treasure trove of historical information about Newcastle upon Tyne’s industrial heritage.

In the following section, you can view a selection of The Quayside in Newcastle images that I have chosen from the Newcastle Libraries Flickr gallery.

The Quayside in Newcastle – Photographs

The photographs below, spanning the years 1880 to 1900, show a viewpoint similar to the one that Grimshaw used for his quayside painting from 1895.

If you are viewing on a mobile phone, you will see a larger photo if you hold your phone horizontally.

View of the quayside bridges in Newcastle upon Tyne. Circa 1947

The Tyne Bridge

The Tyne Bridge opened in 1928

Fast forward to the 21st century for a contemporary view of the quayside

A contemporary view of The Quayside in Newcastle

A contemporary view of The Quayside in Newcastle upon Tyne

Attribution: (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) Paul Alex Reed on Flickr. The photograph on this website is not a derivative work. However, the website module used for this image has cropped it.

It’s on my list to visit!

I have not yet visited Newcastle upon Tyne and hope to do so very soon.

The Quayside and the Laing Art Gallery will be on my list of the many notable historical and cultural attractions in the city of Newcastle upon Tyne.

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