Joseph Wright of Derby Painting Reproductions Gallery 1 of 61734-1797
English Romantic Painter
Joseph Wright (September 3, 1734 - August 29, 1797), styled Wright of Derby, was an English landscape and portrait painter.
He was born in Derby, the son of an attorney, who was afterwards town-clerk. Deciding to become a painter, he went to London in 1751 and for two years studied under Thomas Hudson, the master of Joshua Reynolds. After painting portraits for a while at Derby, he again placed himself for fifteen months under his former master. He then settled in Derby, and varied his work in portraiture by the production of the subjects seen under artificial light with which his name is chiefly associated, and by landscape painting.
He married in 1773, and in the end of that year he visited Italy, where he remained till 1775. While at Naples he witnessed an eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which formed the subject of many of his subsequent pictures. On his return from Italy he established himself at Bath as a portrait-painter; but meeting with little encouragement he returned to Derby, where he spent the rest of his life.
He was a frequent contributor to the exhibitions of the Society of Artists, and to those of the Royal Academy, of which he was elected an associate in 1781 and a full member in 1784. He, however, declined the latter honour on account of a slight which he believed that he had received, and severed his official connection with the Academy, though he continued to contribute to the exhibitions from 1783 till 1794.
Wright's portraits are frequently defective in drawing, and without quality or variety of handling, while their flesh tints are often hard. He is seen at his best in his subjects of artificial light, of which the Orrery (1766), the property of the Corporation of Derby (now Derby City Council), and An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump (1768), in the National Gallery, are excellent examples. His Old Man and Death (1774) is also a striking and individual production. An exhibition of Wright's works was brought together at Derby in 1883, and twelve of his pictures were shown in the winter exhibition of the Royal Academy in 1886.
125 Paintings of Wright of Derby
Museum and Art Gallery Derby United Kingdom
A Philosopher giving that Lecture on the Orrery
National Gallery London United Kingdom
An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump
Kenwood House (The Iveagh Bequest) London United Kingdom
Two Girls Dressing a Kitten by Candlelight
A Girl reading a Letter with an Old Man
A Girl reading a Letter by Candlelight with a Young Man
Portrait of William Brooke
Portrait of Anne or Molly Cracroft
Portrait of Francis Noel Clarke Mundy
Portrait of Harry Peckham
Portrait of Nicholas Heath
Stanford University Museum of Art California USA
Portrait of Edward Becher Leacroft
Portrait of Mrs Wilmot in Riding Dress
Portrait of James and Mary Shuttleworth with one ...
Portrait of Simon Wilmot
Portrait of Harvey Wilmot
Portrait of Mr and Mrs William Chase
Two Boys Fighting over a Bladder
Portrait of Samuel Rastall
Philadelphia Museum of Art Pennsylvania USA
Portrait of William Rastall
Three Persons Viewing the Gladiator by Candle Light
Yale Center for British Art Connecticut USA
An Academy by Lamplight
A Conversation of Girls (Two Girls with their ...
Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge United Kingdom
Portrait of Mrs John Ashton
Fitchburg Art Museum Massachusetts USA
Portrait of Mrs Sarah Clayton