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Joseph (1734) Wright


Aliases: Joseph Wright of Derby, Wright of Derby, Joseph Wright of Derby, Joseph Wright, Joseph (1734) Wright, Thomas Wright


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(b Derby, 3 Sept 1734; d Derby, 29 Aug 1797). English painter. He painted portraits, landscapes and subjects from literature, but his most original and enduringly celebrated works are a few which reflect the philosophical and technological preoccupations of the later 18th century and are characterized by striking effects of artificial light. He was the first major English painter to work outside the capital all his life: apart from spells in Liverpool (1768–71), Italy (1773–5) and Bath (1775–7), he lived and worked in his native Derby, though exhibiting in London at both the Society of Artists (1765–76, 1791) and the Royal Academy (1778–82, 1789–90, 1794). Reappraisal of his achievements has followed Nicolson’s monograph of 1968.

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