Some Paintings from Joseph Wright of Derby

    Joseph Wright of Derby (1734 - 1797) lived through the era of the industrial revolution and the beginning of Romanticism.  I didn't live back then, but from what I have read, his pictures do a good job depicting that era and are good art in general.  Here is a self-portrait from 1780: 

The Alchemist Discovering Phosphorus

An experiment on a bird in the air pump: 

A philosopher lecturing on the orrery:

In these two pictures, Wright depicts the beginning of the time when science and scientific thinking was beginning to be part of ordinary people's lives.  And even the cruelty it could bring (as I understand it, the bird is suffocated as air is pumped out of its container).  The picture of the alchemist also shows the earlier era when science was properly called natural philosophy. 

An Iron Forge:

The Iron Forge is another painting showing technology.  In addition to these, Wright painted landscapes in a Romantic manner. 

Vesuvius from Popsilio:

Vesuvius from Portici

Matlock Tor by Moonlight


  1. I was not aware of this painter. Great compositions. I'll have to explore a little on my own. Thanks for sharing these.


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