Joseph Wright of Derby

Firework Display at the Castel Sant' Angelo in Rome

Firework Display at the Castel Sant' Angelo in Rome
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Joseph Wright of Derby
Landscape, Painting, Oil on canvas, 162.5x213 cm
Origin: Britain, 1779

Joseph Wright was enthralled by the use of lighting efffects in painting, creating special mood and atmosphere in his canvases. He visited Rome in 1774-75 and was most impressed by the several firework displays held there each year, for instance during Holy Week and on the eve of the festival of SS Peter and Paul. These fireworks were set off from the roof of the Castel Sant'Angelo. In the autumn of 1774 he also set off to watch the volcano Vesuvius erupting. As a result he painted paired canvases of the fireworks and Vesuvius - as he put it, "the one is the greatest effect of Nature, the other of Art" - to contrast the theatrical and natural effects of fire. The purchase of these companion paintings by Catherine II in 1779 made her one of the first Europeans to recognize the importance of this then relatively unknown artist.

Source of entry: acquired from the artist, 1779

See also

Joseph Wright of Derby - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Joseph Wright (3 September 1734 - 29 August 1797), styled Wright of Derby, was an English landscape and portrait painter. He has been acclaimed as "the ...
Joseph Wright of Derby Biography
Joseph Wright of Derby biographical information. ... Joseph Wright was born in Derby, a small city in central England, at the heart of the Industrial ...
Joseph Wright of Derby Online
Joseph Wright of Derby [English Romantic Painter, 1734-1797] Guide to pictures of works by Joseph Wright of Derby in art museum sites and image archives ...
The Works of Joseph Wright of Derby
An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump (Joseph Wright of Derby, exhibited 1768) . ... A Philosopher Giving a Lecture on the Orrery (Joseph Wright of Derby, ...

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