English painter. He painted portraits, landscapes and subjects from literature, but his most original and enduringly celebrated works are a few which reflect the philosophical and technological preoccupations of the later 18th century and are characterized by striking effects of artificial light. He was the first major English painter to work outside the capital all his life: apart from spells in Liverpool (1768-71), Italy (1773-5) and Bath (1775-7), he lived and worked in his native Derby, though exhibiting in London at both the Society of Artists (1765-76, 1791) and the Royal Academy (1778-82, 1789-90, 1794).
An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump
An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump, by Joseph Wright, 1768, National Gallery, London