Joseph Wright of Derby

Three Children of Richard Arkwright with a Kite


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Not on display

Joseph Wright of Derby 1734–1797
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 1956 × 1524 mm
frame: 2207 × 1780 × 120 mm
Lent from a private collection 1998
On long term loan

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.

Gallery label, May 2007

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