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Joseph Wright of Derby, 1734–1797, British, active in Italy (1773–75)
Philosopher Giving a Lecture on the Orrery
ca. 1768
Oil on canvas
Support (PTG): 17 5/8 x 23 1/2 inches (44.8 x 59.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
apparatus | astronomer | astronomy | audience | books | boys | children | cravat | curtain | genre subject | gesture | girls | invention | lecture | light | men | model (representation) | monochromatic | orrery | paper (fiber product) | pencil | philosopher | planets | redingote (overcoat) | science | scientist | spectators | teacher | teaching | writing (processes)
Not on view
Exhibition History:
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The Pursuit of Happiness - A View of Life in Georgian England (Yale Center for British Art, 1977-04-19 - 1977-09-18)

Eighteenth Century - Art Civilization in the Rococo Era (Nationalmuseum, 1971-09 - 1980-01)

The New Child - The Origins of Modern Childhood in English Art 1730-1830 (Berkeley Art Museum, 1995-08-23 - 1995-11-19)

The New Child - The Origins of Modern Childhood in English Art 1730-1830 (Joslyn Art Museum, 1996-03-09 - 1996-05-05)

The New Child - The Origins of Modern Childhood in English Art 1730-1830 (Dixon Gallery & Gardens, 1995-12-10 - 1996-02-04)

Mehr Licht. Europe around 1770. Art and the Enlightenment (Stadt Frankfurt Am Main, 1999-08-22 - 2000-01-09)

Art in Focus : Joseph Wright and the Spectacle of Science (Yale Center for British Art, 2007-03-30 - 2007-06-11)

Hogarth, Reynolds, Turner: British Painting and the Rise of Modernity (Fondazione Roma Museo - Palazzo Sciarra, 2014-04-14 - 2014-07-20)

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Lance Bertelsen, David Garrick and English Painting, Eighteenth Century Studies, vol. 11, Spring 1978, p. 323, NX452 E54 11 (YCBA) Also available online at JSTOR. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2738195

Joseph Burke, The Iconography of the Enlightenment in English Art, Sydney University Press for the Australian Academy of the Humanities, 1970, p. 15, N6766 B87

Matthew Hargraves, Joseph Wright of Derby and the Society of Artists of Great Britain, British Art Journal, Vol. 11, no. 1, 2010 (Spring), p. 54-55, Pl. 2, N6761 B74 OVERSIZE (YCBA) Also available on line (ORBIS)

Robert Michael Neuman, Baroque and Rococo art and architecture, Pearson, Boston, 2013, p. 392, N6415.B3 N48 2013 (YCBA)

J. H. Plumb, The pursuit of happiness : a view of life in Georgian England : an exhibition selected from the Paul Mellon collection, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1977, pp. 51, 108, no. 97, N6766 Y34 1977 (YCBA)

Eric Robinson, Shorter Notices, Joseph Wright of Derby : The Philosophers' Painter , Burlington Magazine, vol. 100, The Burlington Magazine Publications Ltd., June 1958, p. 214, N1 B87 100 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Simon Schama, The Yale Centre for British Art, TLS, the Times Literary Supplement, Issue no. 3923, May 20, 1977, p. 619, Film S748 (SML) Also avaiable online in TLS Historical Archive (ORBIS)

Skira editore, Hogarth Reynolds Turner : British painting and the rise of modernity, Rome, 2014, pp. 157, 287, cat. no. 18, fig. 18, ND466 .H65 2014 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

David H. Solkin, Joseph Wright of Derby and the Sublime Art of Labor, Representations, vol. 83, Summer 2003, p. 167, NX1 R46 (SML) Available online in JStor. http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/rep.2003.83.1.167

Marian Wardle, The Weir family, 1820-1920, expanding the traditions of American art , Brigham Young University Museum of Art, Provo, Utah and Hanover, N.H., 2011, pp. 117-18, fig. 6.5, NJ18 W4268 A12 2012 (LC) Oversize (HAAS)

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