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

Site map

Albums Authors Countries Sources Epoches Exibitions Genres
Personages Schools Styles Techniques Themes Types Workshops

Image Use Policy

Unless otherwise noted, images this web site may be used for any purpose without prior permission.

Any material in the public domain found on this web site is not protected by copyright.

We make no representations or warranties with respect to ownership of copyrights in the images, and do not represent others who may claim to be authors or owners of copyright of any of the images, and make no warranties as to the quality of the images.

We shall not be responsible for any loss or expenses resulting from the use of the images, and you release and hold us harmless from all liability arising from such use.

We do not sell art prints, framed posters or reproductions. Ads are shown only to compensate the hosting expenses.