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Wright, Joseph [English, 1734-1797]


[ Biography | 18th Century Artists | Romanticist Artists ]
portrait

Joseph Wright byname WRIGHT OF DERBY (b. Sept. 3, 1734, Derby, Derbyshire, England — d. Aug. 29, 1797, Derby, Derbyshire, England), was anEnglish painter who was a pioneer in the artistic treatment of industrial subjects. He was also the best European painter of artificial light of his day.

Wright was trained as a portrait painter by Thomas Hudson in the 1750s. Wright's home was Derby, one of the great centres of the birth of the Industrial Revolution, and his depictions of scenes lit by moonlight or candlelight combine the realism of the new machinery with the romanticism involved in its application to industry and science. His pictures of technological subjects, partly inspired by the Dutch followers of Caravaggio, date from 1763 to 1773; the most famous are The Air Pump (1768) and The Orrery (c. 1763-65). Wright was also noted for his portraits of English Midlands industrialists and intellectuals.

The name “Wright of Derby” was applied to him by reviewers of the Society of Artists' exhibitions in the 1760s, to distinguish him from the Liverpool artist, Richard Wright, who was already exhibiting. The American artist Joseph Wright also arrived in England in 1772, making the style “Wright of Derby” even more helpful. He is not known to have complained about the title and having it by this name that his reputation has endured as one of the most original, wide-ranging and talented English artists of the 18th century.


  Wright, Joseph [English, 1734-1797]

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Title: Experiment with the Air-Pump
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Title: The Alchemist in Search of the Philosophers Stone
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Title: The Corinthian Maid
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Title: The Convent of San Cosimato
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Title: Portrait of Mr. Robert Gwillym
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Title: Portrait of Mrs. Robert Gwillym
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Title: Young Girl Reading a Letter by Candlelight
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Title: The Orrery
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Title: The Iron Forge
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Title: Cave at Evening
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Title: The Widow of an Indian Chief Watching the Arms of Her Deceased Husband
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