Joseph Wright of Derby Painting Reproductions Gallery 2 of 51734-1797
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.
111 Paintings of Wright of Derby
Portrait of John Milnes
Portrait of Mrs Andrew Lindington
Portrait of Mr and Mrs Coltman
Portrait of Mrs Catherine Swindell
Portrait of Captain Robert Shore Milnes
Portrait of John Whetham of Kirklington
Portrait of Cornet Sir George Cooke
Portrait of a Lady with her Lacework
Portrait of Robert Vernon Atherton Gwillym
Portrait of Mrs Robert Gwillym
Portrait of Fleetwood Hesketh
The Old Man and Death
The Alchymist in Search of the Philosopher's Stone
Portrait of Perez Burdett and his First Wife Hannah
A Philosopher by Lamp Light
Miravan Breaking Open the Tomb of his Ancestors
A Blacksmith's Shop
A Blacksmith's Shop
An Iron Forge
The Iron Forge Viewed from Without
The Earthstopper on the Banks of the Derwent
Maria from Sterne
The Captive from Sterne
John Staveley's Head for the Captive from Sterne