From striking depictions of industrial life in 18th-century Britain, to dramatic Italian landscapes, the work of Joseph Wright of Derby is noted for its use of chiaroscuro, a technique that contrasts light and dark for dramatic effect. Tuesday 3 September is the anniversary of Wright’s birth, and to mark the occasion, In Pictures presents paintings by the artist, along with other artworks that explore the drama of light and shadow

1 of 12
  • Joseph Wright of Derby, 'An Iron Forge' 1772

    Joseph Wright of Derby
    An Iron Forge 1772
    Oil on canvas
    support: 1213 x 1320 mm frame: 1458 x 1570 x 123 mm
    Purchased with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund and the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1992

    View the main page for this artwork

  • Joseph Wright of Derby, 'Vesuvius in Eruption, with a View over the Islands in the Bay of Naples' circa 1776-80

    Joseph Wright of Derby
    Vesuvius in Eruption, with a View over the Islands in the Bay of Naples circa 1776-80
    Oil on canvas
    support: 1220 x 1764 mm frame: 1461 x 1941 x 95 mm
    Purchased with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund, Friends of the Tate Gallery, and Mr John Ritblat 1990

    View the main page for this artwork

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

    Joseph Wright of Derby
    A Moonlight with a Lighthouse, Coast of Tuscany ?exhibited 1789
    Oil on canvas
    support: 1016 x 1276 mm frame: 1155 x 1440 x 95 mm
    Purchased 1949

    View the main page for this artwork

  • Paula Rego, 'The Dance' 1988

    Paula Rego
    The Dance 1988
    Acrylic on paper laid on canvas
    support: 2126 x 2740 mm
    Purchased 1989 Paula Rego

    View the main page for this artwork

  • Henry Wallis, 'Chatterton' 1856

    Henry Wallis
    Chatterton 1856
    Oil on canvas
    support: 622 x 933 mm frame: 905 x 1205 x 132 mm
    Bequeathed by Charles Gent Clement 1899

    View the main page for this artwork

  • John Opie, 'Portrait of the Artist' circa 1790

    John Opie
    Portrait of the Artist circa 1790
    Oil on canvas
    support: 406 x 330 mm frame: 698 x 615 x 118 mm
    Bequeathed by Henry Vaughan 1900

    View the main page for this artwork

  • Samuel Palmer, 'The Harvest Moon: Drawing for 'A Pastoral Scene'' circa 1831-2

    Samuel Palmer
    The Harvest Moon: Drawing for 'A Pastoral Scene' circa 1831-2
    Pen and ink and gouache on card
    support: 152 x 184 mm
    Purchased 1922

    View the main page for this artwork

  • Robert Mapplethorpe, 'Skull' 1988, printed 1990

    Robert Mapplethorpe
    Skull 1988, printed 1990
    Black and white silver gelatin print on paper
    support: 476 x 470 mm
    ARTIST ROOMS Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008All Mapplethorpe works Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

    View the main page for this artwork

  • Cornelia Parker, 'Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View' 1991

    Cornelia Parker
    Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View 1991
    Mixed media
    unconfirmed: 4000 x 5000 x 5000 mm
    Presented by the Patrons of New Art (Special Purchase Fund) through the Tate Gallery Foundation 1995 Cornelia Parker

    View the main page for this artwork

  • Henry Fuseli, 'Titania and Bottom' circa 1790

    Henry Fuseli
    Titania and Bottom circa 1790
    Oil on canvas
    support: 2172 x 2756 mm frame: 3167 x 2600 x 155 mm
    Presented by Miss Julia Carrick Moore in accordance with the wishes of her sister 1887

    View the main page for this artwork

  • Barnett Freedman, 'Untitled. Verso: Untitled' 1950

    Barnett Freedman
    Untitled. Verso: Untitled 1950
    Lithograph on paper
    unconfirmed: 968 x 629 mm
    Presented by Robert Simon 1976 The estate of Barnett Freedman

    View the main page for this artwork

  • Olafur Eliasson, 'Your Double-Lighthouse Projection' 2002

    Olafur Eliasson
    Your Double-Lighthouse Projection 2002
    Metal, wood, fluorescent tubes, electrical components, computer programme, Mylar screen, scratch disks and ballasts
    displayed: 3630 x 11540 x 6300 mm
    Presented by Tate Members 2004 Olafur Eliasson

    View the main page for this artwork

Explore more Joseph Wright of Derby