Collection Online


oil on canvas on canvas
69.8 × 58.0 cm (image) 70.2 × 58.7 cm (canvas)
Place/s of Execution
Derby, Derbyshire, England
Accession Number
International Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Alina Cade in memory of her husband Joseph Wright Cade, 2009
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
17th to 18th Century European Paintings Gallery
Level 2, NGV International

Joseph Wright of Derby chronicled his personal and professional life in a group of insightful self-portraits. He painted at least seven of these highly personal works, which he kept until his death. Wright seems to have painted one every ten years, and this is the second in that ‘series’ made in his early thirties. At this time Wright was approaching the height of his fame for his conversation pieces and ‘candlelight pictures’. In these inventive works he recorded scientific developments of the Industrial Revolution in scenes lit with evocative light from candles or fires. This work has long been out of public view, last being shown at the Melbourne Centennial Exhibition of 1888.

Frame: Original, English, 18th century, maker unknown