Joseph Wright of Derby
A Moonlight with a Lighthouse, Coast of Tuscany ?exhibited 1789

Artwork details

A Moonlight with a Lighthouse, Coast of Tuscany
Date ?exhibited 1789
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1016 x 1276 mm
frame: 1155 x 1440 x 95 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1949
Not on display

Display caption

When journeying to and from Rome, Wright had crossed much of mainland Italy but his acquaintance with districts beyond Rome would have been brief. Years later, this imagined scene gave Wright a context in which to compare the differing effects of natural and artifical light-sources that had so long fascinated him. Here, the luminosity of the moonlight in the night sky is contrasted with the hazy beam of the lighthouse and its reflection in the water. The looming dark mass of the cliff and portentous-looking rocks in the bottom left create a sense of melodrama.

August 2000

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