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Joseph Wright of Derby, 1734–1797
A Lake by Moonlight
1780 to 1782
Materials & Techniques:
Oil on canvas
24 1/2 × 29 3/4 inches (62.2 × 75.6 cm), Frame: 31 1/4 × 36 3/4 inches (79.4 × 93.3 cm)

Label on verso, upper left: “Joseph Wright of Derby | ‘Moonlight Landscape’ | Thos. Agner & Sons | 43 Old Bond Street | London W. 1”; upper center, handwritten: “Paul Mellon | 14”; upper center, handwritten: “Wright of Derby”; upper left: "Pitt & Scott Ltd | 20-24 Edengrove, London, N.7 Bed | [handwritten] S.14"; lower left: “Thos. Agnew & Sons Ltd. | No [logo] 20227 | London”; lower center: “Derby Corporation Art Gallery | Bi-centenary Exhibition of the Works of | Wright of Derby, 1934. | Lender’s Name Mrs. Lister-Raye | Address Morley Manor Derby | Title of Picture Moonlight Scene”

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
lake | landscape | light | man | moon | mountain | night | silhouette
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

Malcolm Cormack, Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 262-263, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Ian S. Hodkinson, An 18th-century artist-applied lining : Joseph Wright of Derby's Cut Through the Rock at Cranford, Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, vol. 34, Spring 1995, p. 36, N8554 .A53 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Benedict Nicolson, Joseph Wright of Derby : Painter of Light, Paul Mellon Foundation for British Art, London, New York, 1968, p, 250, 84, 91, 128, NJ18 W95 +N53 Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]

Benedict Nicolson, Wright of Derby: Addenda and Corrigenda, Burlington Magazine, vol. 130, October 1988, p. 758, N1 B87 + (YCBA) Also available online at JSTOR. [YCBA]

Paintings by Wright of Derby 1734 - 1797, Henry Graves & Co., London, p. 17, no. 78, Not at Yale [OCLC]

Polygraphic Society, Catalogue of pictures, copied or multiplied (for sale) by a chymical and mechanical process; exhibited with the capital originals from which they have been taken, by the Polygraphic Society, ... opened the 4th of April, 1792, London, p. 9, NE1855 P75 1792+ Oversize (YCBA Rare Books) Also available online: Orbis [ORBIS]

F. Williamson, Wright of Derby: Catalogue of the Bi-centenary Exhibition of Paintings by Joseph Wright, A.R.A., Held in the Corporation Art Gallery, Derby, 3rd September to 18th November, 1934, The Libraries, Museum and Art Gallery Committee of the County Burough of Derby, Derby, p. 38, no. 123, Not at Yale [OCLC]

Hua Zhang, The Landscape of Solitude: Encountering Images of Contemplation in Western Landscape Painting [PhD Dissertation, Texas Tech University], Lubbock, TX, May 2003, p. 102, fig. 43, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global

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