Exhibition | The Grand Tour: Joseph Wright and the Lure of Italy

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on March 19, 2016


Joseph Wright, letter including sketches of Castel Saint’ Angelo and Saint Peter’s in Rome, 1774
(Derby Museums Trust)

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One of this year’s installments in the Grand Tour series, which explores the topic as related to people and collections in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire:

The Grand Tour: Joseph Wright and the Lure of Italy
Derby Museum and Art Gallery, 19 March — 12 June 2016

For many wealthy Europeans, The Grand Tour, which reached its heyday in the 18th and 19th centuries, marked a rite of passage that culminated in a visit to Italy; a country rich in the remains of classical history, art, and landscape. Among these tourists were Derbyshire men and women, including the artist Joseph Wright, who made his own artistic pilgrimage between 1773 and 1775. This exhibition draws upon this formative period in Wright’s life, alongside the experiences of his fellow Derbeians abroad. Among paintings and drawings from Derby Museums’ collection are treasures gathered together from public and private collections in Derbyshire and further afield, some of which have never before been seen in Derby.

Masterpieces by Pompeo Batoni and other early Italian Renaissance artists are shown alongside examples of Wright’s highly-skilled work, revealing how his time on the continent influenced his practice. Also on display is a folio of Raphael engravings the Derbyshire artist purchased whilst in Rome in 1775.


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