- Joseph Wright of Derby 1734–1797
- Oil paint on canvas
- Support: 1016 x 1276 mm
frame: 1155 x 1440 x 95 mm
- Purchased 1949
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.
Gallery label, August 2000
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