Atkinson was a writer and critic.
He was a critic and writer on Russian and contemporary German art, and wrote articles in Blackwood's Magazine and elsewhere. His books include An Art Tour to the Northern Capitals of Europe, 1873; The Schools of Modern Art in Germany, 1880; with Sidney Colvin and others, he contributed to English Painters of the Present Day, 1871 and Artists of the Present Day, 1872; Studies among the painters, 1874.
Allen's West London Directory, London, 1869; Kensington Directory, London, 1882, pp. 84-87; British Library on-line catalogue; Boase, Frederick, Modern English Biography 1851-1900, reprint, 1965; Kirk, John Foster, Critical Dictionary of English Literature, London, 1891; Annual Register, London, 1886, p. 159; Boase, Frederic, Modern English biography: containing many thousand concise memoirs of persons who have died during the years 1851-1900 ... Truro, 1892-1921; Surtees, Virginia (ed.), Diaries of G. P. Boyce, Norwich, 1980, p. 31.