Joseph Wright of Derby
From The Art and Popular Culture 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 first painter to express the spirit of the Industrial Revolution.
Wright is notable for his use of Chiaroscuro effect, which emphasises the contrast of light and dark, and for his paintings of candle-lit subjects. His paintings of the birth of science out of alchemy, often based on the meetings of the Lunar Society, a group of very influential scientists and industrialists living in the English Midlands, are a significant record of the struggle of science against religious values in the period known as the Age of Enlightenment.
Many of Wright's paintings are owned by the Derby city council, and are on display at the Derby Museum and Art Gallery, from where they are occasionally loaned to other galleries.