Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Joseph Wright of Derby - part 4

1782-85c Joseph Wright ( Self-Portrait ) 
oil on canvas 62.2 x 52.7 cm 
© National Portrait Gallery, London

Joseph Wright (1734 – 1797) styled Joseph Wright of Derby. Was an English landscape and portrait painter. He has been acclaimed as “the first professional painter to express the spirit of the Industrial Revolution”. Wright is noted for his use of Chiaroscuro effect, which emphasises the contrast of light and dark, and for his paintings of candle-lit subjects. His paintings of the birth of science out of alchemy, often based on meetings of the Lunar Society, a group of very influential scientists and industrialists living in the English Midlands, are a significant record of the struggle of science against religious values in the period known as the Age of Enlightenment.

This is part 4 of a 5 - part post on the works of Joseph Wright. For full biographical notes see part 1. For earlier works see parts 1 - 3 also.




1780c Francis Hurt 
oil on canvas 127 x 101.6 cm 
Private Collection

1780c Joseph Wright ( Self-Portrait ) 
oil on canvas 73 x 61 cm 
Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven, CT

1780c Mrs Francis Hurt 
oil on canvas 127 x 101.6 cm 
Private Collection

1780c Samuel Crompton 
oil on canvas 76.3 x 63.5 cm 
Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby, UK

1780c Mrs Samuel Crompton 
oil on canvas 76.2 x 63.5 cm 
Private Collection

1780c Old John, Head Waiter at the King's Head in Derby 
oil on canvas 74 x 61.5 cm 
Private Collection

1780c Portrait of a Girl in a Tawny-Coloured Dress 
oil on canvas 122 x 99 cm 
Private Collection

1781 Christopher Heath 
oil on canvas 127 x 101.6 cm 
Private Collection

1781 Sir Brooke Boothby 
oil on canvas 148.6 x 207.6 cm 
Tate, London

1781 The Synnot Children 
oil on canvas 152.4 x 125.8 cm 
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia

1781-82 John Whetham of Kirklington, Nottinghamshire 
oil on canvas 127 x 101.6 cm 
Private Collection

1781-82c The Rev. D'Ewes Coke, His Wife Hannah and Daniel Parker Coke
oil on canvas 152.4 x 177.8 cm 
Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby, UK

1782 Ellen Goodwin ( 1740/1741–1823 ), Mrs Henry Case-Morewood
oil on canvas 127 x 101.5 cm 
National Trust, UK

1782 The Reverend Henry Case ( 1746/1747–1825 ), Later The Reverend Henry Case-Morewood
oil on canvas 133.5 x 100.5 cm 
National Trust, Clandon Park, Guildford, UK


1779 Virgil's Tomb by Moonlight, with Silius Italicus Declaiming
oil on canvas 101.6 x 127 cm 
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

1782 Virgil's Tomb by Moonlight 
oil on canvas 101.6 x 127 cm 
Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby, UK

1785 Virgil's Tomb; Sun Breaking through a Cloud 
oil on canvas 47 x 65 cm 
Ulster Museum, Belfast, UK


1782-83c Arkwright's Cotton Mills by Night 
oil on canvas 99.7 x 125.7 cm 
Private Collection

1782-83c John Whitehurst FRS 
oil on canvas 92.1 x 71.1 cm 
Private Collection

1782-83c Samuel Ward ( 1732–1820 )  
oil on canvas 76.2 x 63.5 cm 
Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby, UK

1882 -84 The Corinthian Maid
Josiah Wedgewood, the pioneer of pottery manufacturing, commissioned this mythological scene that illustrates the invention of the art of modeling bas-relief sculpture. Wedgwood’s own fired-clay vessels, decorated with low reliefs, would have been seen by an eighteenth-century audience as the aesthetic descendants of this ancient Greek maiden’s attempt to preserve her beloved’s profile. The girl was the daughter of a potter in Corinth. Her boyfriend was about to embark on a perilous journey to foreign lands, taking only his spear and dog. As a memento, she traced her sleeping lover’s silhouette onto the wall. Her father then used the drawing to model a clay relief, which he fired in his kiln to create a ceramic keepsake.

In this painting Joseph Wright has concealed a hanging lamp behind a curtain, suggesting the source of the beams that cast the youth’s shadow. In contrast to the lam’s gentle glow, intense sparks and embers leap inside the potter’s fiery furnace.


Wright researched his topic for archeological accuracy. Wedgwood loaned antique vases from his own art collection so that Wright could copy their shapes, and the clothing derives from ancient sculptures. Classical symmetry pervades the design; the curtain and archway flank the focal action of the maiden’s stylus tracing the youth’s profile.

1782-84 The Corinthian Maid 
oil on canvas 106.3 x 130.8 cm 
The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

1783-84 Penelope Unravelling her Web 
oil on canvas 105.7 x 128.9 cm 
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA

1783-85 The Gulf of Salerno 
oil on canvas 41.6 x 59.4 cm
 Art Institute of Chicago, IL

1783-85c Sir Richard Arkwright 
oil on canvas 126 x 102 cm 
© National Portrait Gallery, London

1784 John Coates Browne 
oil on canvas 156.8 x 110 cm

1785 Dovedale by Moonlight 
oil on canvas 62.5 x 77.8 cm 
Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin, Ohio

exhibited 1785 The Lady in Milton's Comus 
oil on canvas 101 x 127 cm 
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK

1785 Imaginary Landscape with a Bridge in the Roman Campagna 
oil on canvas 76.2 x 96.5 cm 
© Tate, London


1785 The Widow of an Indian Chief Watching the Arms of Her Deceased Husband
oil on canvas 101.6 x 127 cm 
Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby, UK

1789 John Raphael Smith "The Widow of an Indian Chief Watching the Arms of Her Deceas'd Husband"
mezzotint on paper 
Harvard Art Museums - Fogg Museum, Cambridge, MA


1785-89c Dr. Richard Wright 
oil on canvas 76.2 x 63.5 cm

1785-90c Sunset on the Coast near Naples 
oil on canvas 63.5 x 75.9 cm 
Private Collection

1785c Landscape with Dale Abbey and Church Rocks
oil on canvas 72.4 x 99 cm 
Sheffield City Art Galleries, Sheffield, UK

1785c River Landscape 
oil on canvas 50.8 x 76.2 cm 
Towner Gallery, Eastbourne, UK


1785c Portrait of General Giles 
oil on canvas 75.2 x 83.8 cm 
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC

1785c Reverend Basil Bury Beridge 
oil on canvas 127 x 101 cm 
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

1785c William and Margaret from Percy's 'Reliques of Ancient English Poetry'
oil on canvas 121.9 x 139.7 cm 
Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven, CT

1786 Dovedale 
oil on canvas 64.5 x 84.5 cm 
Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven, CT

1786 The Rev. and Mrs. Thomas Gisborne, of Yoxhall Lodge, Leicestershire
oil on canvas 185.4 x 152.4 cm 
Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven, CT

1786 View in Dovedale 
oil on canvas 45.7 x 63.5 cm 
Private Collection

1786c The Convent of San Cosimato and Part of the Claudian Aqueduct near Vicovaro in the Roman Campagna
oil on canvas 76.2 x 63.5 cm 
Private Collection

1787 Lake with Castle on a Hill 
oil on canvas 145 x 205 cm

1787 Lower End of Windermere ( attributed to ) 
graphite and ink on paper 20.2 x 31.1 cm

1787 Moonlight with a Lake and Castellated Tower 
oil on canvas 58 x 76.2 cm 
Private Collection

1787-88 The Convent of San Cosimato 
oil on canvas 50.5 x 63.5 cm 
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK

1787-90 The Prisoner 
oil on canvas 40.6 x 47 cm 
Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven, CT


1785-93 Cottage on Fire at Night 
oil on canvas 56.5 x 80 cm 
Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven, CT

1787c A Cottage on Fire 
oil on canvas 58 x 76.2 cm 
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN

1793 Cottage on Fire 
oil on canvas 63.5 x 76.2 cm 
Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby, UK


1788 Lady Wilmot and her Child 
oil on canvas 213.4 x 157.5 cm 
Private Collection

1788 Landgollen ( attributed to ) 
graphite and ink on paper 20.7 x 33.6 cm

1788-90c A view of Vesuvius from Posillipo, Naples
oil on canvas 54 x 77.5 cm 
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia

1788c Vesuvius from Posillipo 
oil on panel 63.5 x 83.8 cm

1788c Sunset on the Coast near Naples 
oil on canvas 63.5 x 75.9 cm 
Private Collection

exhibited 1789 Moonlight with a Lighthouse, Coast of Tuscany 
oil on canvas 101.6 x 127.6 cm 
Tate, London

1789 The Children of Hugh and Sarah Wood of Swanwick, Derbyshire ( Robert Wood, John Wood and Mary Wood )
oil on canvas 167.6 x 134.6 cm 
Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby, UK

1789 The Cloister of San Cosimato 
oil on panel 61 x 81 cm 
Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, Germany

1789 The Colosseum, Rome, Italy, Daylight 
oil on canvas 104.1 x 129.5 cm 
Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby, UK

1789-90c Susannah Hurt with Her Daughter Mary Anne 
oil on canvas 229.8 x 138.4 cm 
Private Collection

1789c Charles Hurt of Wirksworth 
oil on canvas 229.8 x 138.4 cm 
Private Collection


1789-90 Sir Richard Arkwright 
oil on canvas 241.3 x 152.4 cm
 Private Collection

1790 Sir Richard Arkwright ( 1732–1792 ) 
oil on canvas 74.5 x 62 cm 
Helmshore Mills Textile Museum, Helmshore, UK

Note: The painting below is another version of the painting above, with subtle differences.

1790 Sir Richard Arkwright ( 1732–1792 ) 
oil on canvas 76.5 x 64.5 cm 
Science Museum, London

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