Friday, 13 June 2014

Joseph Wright of Derby - part 5

Portrait of Joseph Wright by William Tate (1747-1806), a student of Joseph Wright
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 5 of a 5 - part post on the works of Joseph Wright. For full biographical notes see part 1. For earlier works see parts 1 - 4 also.


1789c The Dead Soldier oil on canvas 101.6 x 127 cm

1790 Italian Landscape oil on canvas 103.5 x 130.4 cm The National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

1790 Portrait of Richard Arkwright Junior with his Wife Mary and Daughter Anne oil on canvas 244 x 158.5 cm

1790 Romeo and Juliet; The Tomb Scene oil on canvas 177.8 x 241.3 cm Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby UK

1790 The Lake of Albano oil on canvas 101.9 x 126.4 cm National Museum Wales, Cardiff UK

1790-02c Lake Albano oil on canvas 36.2 x 54.5 cm Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven CT


1790-92 Antigonus in the Storm (Act III, scene iii) from Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale"
oil on canvas 153.9 x 221.3 cm Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada

1793 Samuel Middiman after Joseph Wright "Winter's Tale" engraving (Spooner Edition 1852)
49.5 x 63.5 cm Harvard Art Museums - Fogg Museum, Cambridge MA


1790-92c Samuel Oldknow oil on canvas 243.9 x 152.4 cm Temple Newsam House, Leeds Museums and Galleries UK

1790-93 Mrs. Francis Boott oil on canvas 77.2 x 64.1 cm Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA

1790-93c Harriet Wright, the Artist's Daughter brown monochrome on canvas 24.4 x 21.3 cm
Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby UK

1790-95c Landscape near Bedgellert, North Wales oil on canvas 57.1 x 76.3 cm Private Collection

1790c A Cottage in Needwood Forest, Staffordshire oil on canvas 100.4 x 125.7 cm Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby UK

1790c Italian Landscape with Mountains and a River oil on canvas 52.1 x 77.5 cm Museum of Fine Arts, Houston TX

1790c Jedediah Strutt oil on canvas 127 x 101.6 cm Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby UK

1790c Lake Nemi at Sunset oil on canvas 100 x 128 cm Louvre, Paris

1790c Lake Nemi oil on canvas 36.2 x 54.5 cm Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven CT

1790c Lake Nemi, Sunset oil on wood panel 44.5 x 62.5 cm National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia

1790c Landscape with Figures and a Tilted Cart; Matlock High Tor in the Distance oil on canvas 101.6 x 127 cm Southampton City Art Gallery, Southampton NY

1791 Bridge through a Cavern, Moonlight oil on canvas 63.5 x 76.2 cm Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby UK

1791 Three Children of Richard Arkwright with a Goat oil on canvas [190.5 x 149.9 cm]

1792 Lake Albano and Castel Gandolfo, Italy 36.9 x 43.4 cm  Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter UK

1793 Lake of Keswick and Skiddaw (attributed to) graphite and ink on paper 28.4 x 43.6 cm


1794 Landscape with a Rainbow oil on canvas 81.2 x 106.7 cm Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby UK

n.d. Landscape with Rainbow, View near Chesterfield watercolour 31.1 x 41 cm Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven CT


1795 Portrait of Sarah and Ann Haden oil on canvas mounted on panel Worcester Art Museum, Worcester MA

1795 Rydal Waterfall, Cumbria oil on canvas 57.2 x 76.2 cm Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby UK

1795-96 Derwent Water, with Skiddaw in the Distance oil on canvas 56.5 x 80 cm Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven CT

1795c Ullswater oil on canvas 44.4 x 52 cm Dove Cottage and The Wordsworth Museum, Grasmere UK

1983-86 Italian Landscape, a View near Tivoli oil on canvas 76.2 x 96.5 cm Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby UK

1992 Erasmus Darwin oil on canvas 76 x 63.5 cm Wolverhampton Arts and Heritage UK

Note: I couldn't find dates for the following works; they are either undated or not dated by the in the relevant collections. They will by default be out of date sequence:


n.d High Tor, Matlock, Derbyshire oil on canvas  Leicester Arts and Museums Service UK

n.d. A Church in Italy watercolour 24.8 x 32.4 cm Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven CT

n.d. Anna Ashton (Later Mrs Thomas Case)  oil on canvas 123.7 x 98.8 cm University of Liverpool UK

n.d. Dovedale by Derbyshire, Moonlight oil on canvas 68.5 x 90 cm Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby UK

n.d. Girl with a Dove oil on canvas 61 x 50.8 cm Private Collection

n.d. Ironworking (attributed) oil on board 17 x 24.1 cm  Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust UK

n.d. Italianate Lake Scene with Waterfall  oil on canvas 52.5 x 89.5  cm The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford UK

n.d. James Winthorpe Mortimer (attributed) oil on canvas 65 x 54.8 cm Derby Art Gallery, Derby UK

n.d. Landscape with Ruins graphite, black and white chalk, grey, brown and black wash on beige paper 40.6 x 46 cm Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven CT

n.d. Nice. A Tower on a Hill graphite and watercolour 24.2 x 34.8 cm Tate, London UK

n.d. Portrait of a Man Reading (attributed to) oil on canvas 72.4 x 57.8 cm Temple Newsam House, Leeds Museums and Galleries UK

n.d. Portrait of Mr. Anthony Greatorex oil on canvas 76.2 x 63.5 cm SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah GA

n.d. Portrait of Mrs. Anthony Greatorex oil on canvas 76.2 x 63.5 cm SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah GA

n.d. Portrait of Mrs Abney 125 x 100 cm Private Collection

n.d. Portrait of Susannah Leigh oil on canvas mounted on panel 74 x 63 cm Private Collection

n.d. Portrait of the Hon Mrs Boyle oil on canvas 76.2 x 63.5 cm Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand

n.d. Ravenhead Works, St Helens, Lancashire (attributed) oil on canvas 76 x 105 cm  Pilkington Glass Collection UK

n.d. Robert Parker of Cuerden Hall oil on canvas 127 x 102 cm Astley Hall Museum and Art Gallery, Astley Park, Chorley, Lancashire UK

n.d. Rocky Landscape with Waterfalls graphite and wash on paper 38.1 x 54.3 cm Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven CT

n.d. Samuel Bristowe of Twyford and Beesthorpe (1736–1818) (attributed) oil on canvas 73.5 x 61.1 cm County House, Castle Meadow Road, Nottingham UK

n.d. Scene near Naples, Italy, Moonlight oil on canvas 59.1 x 74.3 cm Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby UK

n.d. Snowdon by Moonlight oil on canvas 88 x 123 cm Victoria Gallery and Museum, Liverpool UK

n.d. The Campagna graphite, grey and blue wash on cream laid paper 27.6 x 49.2 cm Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven CT

n.d. The Funeral Pyre oil on millboard 48.3 x 63.9 cm York Museums Trust UK

n.d. The Reverend Thomas Wilson (1703–1784) and Miss Catherine Macaulay (1731–1791) oil on canvas 127.6 x 101.6 cm Chawton House Library, Alton UK

n.d. Two Students Sketching (attributed) oil on canvas 115.6 x 135.9 cm Five Colleges Museums Collections Database MA

2 comments:

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  2. This is a really great series of pictures and suggests to me that Wright is not yet understood. I think his portraits are frequently caricatures like Goya's and that could never be said or hinted in his time. His pictures of Italy have a sort of sci-fi tinge because of their coloring and that wouldn't have been understood in his time. Work in iron forges is still an uncommon theme of pictures. His light is often unnatural - such as phosphorus light. In general there is a disharmonious element in almost every picture (including his landscapes which are geologically accurate but not peaceful nostalgia and not topographical celebrations of wealth) for which there is no explanation in the literature about Wright. Here we see intimations of the oncoming next two centuries as the middle class, not the upper class, would experience them?

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