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PORTRAIT OF A LADY
(THE SITTER MAY POSSIBLY BE MRS CALDWELL)
JOSEPH WRIGHT OF DERBY
Oil on canvas 30 x 25 inches
Framed size 37 ¼ x 32 inches
Joseph Wright was born on 3 September 1734 in Derby, son of John Wright, an attorney and Hannah (nee Brookes). He was educated at Derby Grammar School and went on to study under Thomas Hudson from 1751 – 1753 and again from 1756 to 1767. Joseph Wight based himself in Derby although he toured the east Midlands from 1759 to 1760 and was in Liverpool from 1768 to 1771 where he had a successful portrait practice with the prosperous middle classes.
Wright exhibited his work 46 paintings at the Society of Artist Great Britain; 3 at the Free Society and forty at the Royal Academy from 1765 to 1794.
He was elected ARA in 1781 and RA in 1784 but declined the honour.
Wright was influenced by Thomas Frye and was fond of exploring the effects of a single light source and the play of shadows which resulted.
During the 1760’s he became famous for his experiments in contemporary candlelit subjects.
In October 1773 he left for Italy and was in Rome & Naples during 1774 – 5.While there he witnessed the eruption of Vesuvius, which became his favourite theme.
On returning to England in 1775 he spent fifteen months in Bath and then settled back in Derby in 1777.
Wright suffered from much ill health in his later years.
He died on 29 August 1797 and is buried at St. Alkmund’s Church.
His pupils included Richard Hurleston and William Tate. Richard Tate was a follower.
Work Represented: National Portrait Gallery London; Derby Museum; British Museum; Tate; Hatchlands National Trust; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Southampton City Art Gallery; Laing Art Gallery; Newcastle & Yale.
Bibl: Portrait Painters – Brian Stewart & Mervyn Cutten
Provenance: Private Collection Berkshire circa 1990
Private Collection Surrey
|Height||30.00 inch||(76.20 cm)|
|Width||25.00 inch||(63.50 cm)|
|External Height||37.00 inch||(93.98 cm)|
|External Width||32.00 inch||(81.28 cm)|
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