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Object of the Week – Newly Traced Self-Portrait By Joseph Wright Of Derby On Show At The LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair


H: 23 in   W: 17 in

An 18th century painting catalogued as being by a ‘Follower of Joshua Reynolds’ at auction has been revealed as a genuine self-portrait by renowned British artist Joseph Wright of Derby (1734 – 1797). The discovery, a rarity for 18th century works by high-profile British artists, will be unveiled at the LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair in Berkeley Square, Mayfair, from the 15th – 20th September.

Acquired by Archie Parker of The Parker Gallery, a leading dealer in Old Master and British works of art, the painting has been traced back to 1793, when records indicate that Wright gifted it to the Rev. Thomas Gisborne of Yoxall.

Gisborne was a close friend of Wright’s and had amassed an extensive collection of paintings and drawings by the artist, including a portrait featuring Gisborne and his wife, two landscapes of the Lake District (subsequently at Kedleston Hall) and a painting of Mount Vesuvius.

In 1793, Wright presented Gisborne with a self-portrait that had, until now, disappeared from view; its existence only known from a copy belonging to the collection of Sir John Crompton-Inglefield. A Latin inscription on the copy’s reverse reads: ‘Joseph Wright the artist presented this painting by his own hand as a gift to his friend T. Gisborne in the year of Our Lord 1793 and 59th of his age’. The newly discovered self-portrait is almost certainly the missing original that inspired the copy, and was later reproduced as the frontispiece of the 1885 monograph, The Life and Works of Joseph Wright A.R.A. commonly called “Wright of Derby”.

The Parker Gallery
By appointment
London & Hampshire

+44 (0)7920 772328
[email protected]

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