Joseph Wright of Derby
Three Children of Richard Arkwright with a Kite 1791

Artwork details

Three Children of Richard Arkwright with a Kite
Date 1791
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1956 x 1524 mm
frame: 2207 x 1780 x 120 mm
Lent from a private collection 1998
On long term loan
Not on display

Display caption

The sturdy young children in this portrait are grandsons of the industrial entrepreneur, Richard Arkwright. Unlike their grandfather, who had escaped grinding poverty to establish his business empire, or the children who toiled in Arkwright’s sweatshops, these boys were raised by their father (also Richard) as offspring of the aspiring gentry.The painting was one of a series of full-size family portraits made by Wright to hang in the Arkwright family home at Bakewell, Derbyshire. Collectively, such portraits exhibited the family’s cultivation and, in their monumental scale, its dynastic ambitions.

May 2007

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