Joseph Wright of Derby
English, September 3, 1734 - August 29, 1797
Collected by a major museum

Joseph Wright was one of the main painters of the Enlightenment, depicting leaders of the industrial revolution engaging in clandestine experiments. Although Wright moved in intellectual circles and associated with scientists and philosophers, he was more interested in these scenes as studies in the effects of dramatic light contrasts in interior settings. In the later years of his career, Wright increasingly painted literary themes and landscapes, rendering rock formations and natural effects of light and atmosphere. Though trained as a portrait painter in London, Wright returned to Derby and was the first major English painter to build a career outside of the city.

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