The son of the artist John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836-1893), Louis Grimshaw was born in Leeds and brought up at the family home, Knostrop Hall, a subject often depicted by his father. Louis studied as a pupil of his father, collaborating with him on a number of works typically painting the figures while John Atkinson Grimshaw would execute the sky and backgrounds. Both father and son had an abiding interest in photography, the father using photographs of subjects in his early years in order to portray scenes with exact detail and precision, in later life, from 1890-93 both father and Louis were members of the Leeds Photographic Society.
Following the death of John Atkinson Grimshaw, Louis Grimshaw continued his career as an artist. He painted predominantly moonlit city views, amongst others Edinburgh, Hull, Leeds, Durham but above all London, many views of the latter being commissioned by the art dealer Jackson in the 1890’s. In 1902 he produced a series of views of the capital decorated for the coronation of King Edward VII.
The precarious nature of an artist’s life however, persuaded Louis to abandon his career; he joined the Manchester Guardian as a cartographer in 1905. He left a small corpus of high quality works comparable to those of his father. Another brother Arthur abandoned his burgeoning career as an artist for his first love music, becoming the organist for St. Anne’s Cathedral, Leeds.