Joseph Wright (Joseph Wright) (nicknamed «Wright of Derby») (1734−1797), English painter, master of light effects, pioneer industrial themes in the visual arts.
Born in Derby on 3 September 1734. He studied portrait painting by T. Hudson in London (1751−1753 and 1756−1757). Worked in Derby, and in the years 1775−1777 — in bath; in 1773−1775 years visited Italy.
The atmosphere of labor and research was re-established Wright with delicate lighting effects; the action of his paintings, as a rule, takes place in the night, illuminated by moonlight or candles, which symbolize the «light of reason». Among his typical works, «a Lecture on the solar system» (circa 1763−1765, Art gallery, Derby), «Experience with an air pump» (1768, Tate Britain, London), «the Forge» (1773, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg).
Created and preromanticism landscapes («Illuminations of the castle of Sant Angelo in Rome," ibid; «the Eruption of Vesuvius», the State Museum of fine arts named after A. S. Pushkin, Moscow; both — about 1775).
Wright died in Derby on 29 August 1797.
In 1751−1753, and in 1756−1757, he studied in the Studio of Thomas Hudson. Early portraits (up to 1760) performed by Wright in the manner of his teacher («Portrait of miss Ketton», St. Louis, mo, Mountains. art Gal.; «Portrait of Thomas Bennett», Derby Museum). In 1760−1773, the period of his creative search, the artist lives in Derby; he is interested in unusual light effects simulating space and ascending to art ut — retsky of karavadzhistov. In Derby, he met a master of ceramics, Josiah Wedgwood and Joseph Priestley the chemist, contributed to the development of the industrial revolution, and is present in their experiments. Painting «Planetarium» (1766, Derby Museum; new haven, Yale center for British art) and «Test pump» (1768, London, Gal. Tate) reflect the interest of the inhabitants of Middle England for research. This new genre of painting, a brilliant illustration of which are the works of Wright, was named Diderot «serious genre». The artist painted the portraits («portrait of the spouses Thomas Coltman», approx. 1770−1772, London, NAT. Gal.) and compositions on historical subjects. In the film «Maravan opening the tomb of his ancestors» Gothic elements combined with neoklassitsisticheskoy, and the composition of its strange nature close atmosphere of the novels by A. Radcliffe. During the Italian journey (1773) Wright writes different, impressed his views («Vesuvius», 1774, Derby Museum; 1778, Moscow, Museum of fine arts. A. S. Pushkin; «the Illumination of the castle of the Holy angel» (1774, Derby Museum; 1774−1775, Birmingham, Mountains. Museum; 1775−1778, Liverpool, Gal. Walker; 1778−1779, St. Petersburg, State. The Hermitage); these topics were inspired by the artist and on his return to England (1775). It depicts the effects of moonlight, something reminiscent of the works of Berne, however, treats them, rather, with the position of a scientist observing a natural phenomenon, rather than romance. In 1775 Wright went to bath, where tries in vain to attract clients of Thomas Gainsborough and, in 1777, returned to Derby. From this time were written some of his best portraits («Portrait of sir Brooke Boothby», 1781, London, Gal. Tate; «Portrait of Yoo’s Coca with his wife and Daniel Parker Cook», 1780−1782, Derby Museum; «Portrait of Thomas Gisborne’s wife», 1786, new haven, Jelski center for British art). From 1778 the works of Wright exhibited in KOR. Academy, of which he became in 1781. In 1784 he writes, «the Corinthian girl» (ibid.); the choice of this theme developed in the poem Haley, suggests that the source of inspiration for Wright was a modern literature. He no longer left Derby until his death, doing portraits, landscapes of Derbyshire, historical compositions and works inspired by memories of Italy («Lake Nemi», Paris, Louvre). He remained a provincial artist, but in the best sense of the word; because of his profoundly original manner, combining elements of Gothic and classicism, with its interest in scientific research and modern literature, he was one of the forerunners of romantic art. The artistic heritage of Wright presented mainly in Alskom center for British art in new haven («Self», 1768; «the Forge», 1771; «a Portrait of Dr. Richard Wright», 1785−1787; «Scene in prison," 1787−1790; «Italian landscape," 1790; «View of lake Nemi at sunset», CA. 1790), at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford («the old Man and death», CA. 1773), to Gal. The Tate in London («Portrait of Thomas Staniforth», 1769; «the lighthouse in Tuscany», 1789) in the Derby Museum («Portrait of Thomas barrow», CA. 1762 — 1763; «self-Portrait», 1767−1770; «Portrait of Sarah Carver daughter», 1769−1770; «the Hermit, studying the skeleton», CA. 1771−1773; «the Alchemist, opening phosphorus», 1771−1795; «Portrait of Samuel ward», approx. 1782−1783; «Indian widow», 1783−1785; «View of Tivoli», 1783−1786; «Landscape with rainbow» 1794−1795). The Derby Museum is also a significant collection of drawings and watercolors (particularly sketches of the antiquities and scenery). In 1990 in London (Gal. Tate), Paris (Grand Palais) and new York (Metropolitan Museum) held a retrospective exhibition of the works of Wright.