Joseph Wright of Derby – Artist’s Liverpool days
Nov 17 2007 – Feb 24 2008
A major exhibition examines the three years Joseph Wright of Derby spent in Liverpool at the start of the town’s cultural Renaissance and growing status as a major world port.
A fascinating insight into a previously little-known period of the artist’s life.
Today he is known for his stunning candlelight paintings such as Experiment with Bird in an Air Pump and The Orrery. However, Wright came to Liverpool at the urging of a friend who recognised that there was a growing market for portrait painting among the town’s burgeoning merchant class.
During his time in Liverpool between 1768 and 1771, Wright was remarkably busy painting not only portraits but his trademark candlelight works. His account book, on display at the exhibition, lists many of the paintings he produced. In 1769, for example, he was completing a portrait on average every nine or 10 days.