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Joseph Wright of Derby, 1734–1797, British, active in Italy (1773–75)

Lake Albano

Former Title(s):


1790 to 1792
Oil on canvas
14 1/4 × 21 1/2 inches (36.2 × 54.6 cm) and 19 1/2 × 27 inches (49.5 × 68.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
cliffs | Grand Tour | Italian | lake | landscape | morning | rowboat | water
Associated Places:
Albano, Lago | Castel Gandolfo | Italy | Lazio | Roma
On view in the galleries
IIIF Manifest:

This small landscape, and its pendant, Lake Nemi (B1981.25.716), was probably made in the early 1790s, some fifteen years after Wright’s Italian tour of 1773 to 1775. To the left of the composition, framing the lake is a Claudean tree, and to the right, in the Alban hills, a modified representation of Castel Gandolfo, the papal palace designed by Carlo Maderno (1556-1629) as a retreat from Rome. Lake Albano is depicted here in the cool early morning light, while its pendant, Lake Nemi, is bathed in a warm evening glow. Both compositions, Lake Nemi and Lake Albano, in their careful framing and alternating climatic conditions, reflect similar pairs by Richard Wilson.

Gallery label for Richard Wilson and the Transformation of European Landscape Painting (Yale Center for British Art, 2014-03-06 - 2014-06-01)

Joseph Wright of Derby (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1990-09-06 - 1990-12-02) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Joseph Wright of Derby (Musée du Louvre, 1990-05-17 - 1990-07-23) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Joseph Wright of Derby (Tate Britain, 1990-02-07 - 1990-04-22) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Classic Ground - British Artists and the Landscape of Italy, 1740-1830 (Yale Center for British Art, 1981-07-29 - 1981-09-20) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Malcolm Cormack, A Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 264, 265, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Matthew Craske, Joseph Wright of Derby : Painter of darkness, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, New Haven, pp. 212-213, fig. 141, NJ18.W95 C72 2020+ (YCBA) [YCBA]

Judy Egerton, Wright of Derby, Tate Publishing, London, 1990, p. 185, no. 114, NJ18 W95 +E54 1990 Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]

Catherine M. Gordon, British paintings Hogarth to Turner, Frederick Warne, London, 1981, p. 78, ND466 G67 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Martin Postle, Richard Wilson and the transformation of European landscape painting, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2014, p. 322, Cat. No. 151, NJ18.W72 R53 2014 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Jason Rosenfeld, To Rival Claude, Apollo, vol. 180, July/August 2014, p. 93, N1 A54 (YCBA) [YCBA]

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