View full screen - View 1 of Lot 31. JOSEPH WRIGHT OF DERBY, A.R.A. | An Italian river landscape with a bridge and tower at sunset, with figures in the foreground | 約瑟夫・懷特・德比,A.R.A. | 《意大利河景,黃昏下的橋與塔樓,前景見人物》.
31

JOSEPH WRIGHT OF DERBY, A.R.A. | An Italian river landscape with a bridge and tower at sunset, with figures in the foreground | 約瑟夫・懷特・德比,A.R.A. | 《意大利河景,黃昏下的橋與塔樓,前景見人物》

Estimate:

100,000

to
- 150,000 GBP

The Property of Leighton House Museum, Kensington | 肯辛頓萊頓故居博物館收藏

JOSEPH WRIGHT OF DERBY, A.R.A. | An Italian river landscape with a bridge and tower at sunset, with figures in the foreground | 約瑟夫・懷特・德比,A.R.A. | 《意大利河景,黃昏下的橋與塔樓,前景見人物》

JOSEPH WRIGHT OF DERBY, A.R.A. | An Italian river landscape with a bridge and tower at sunset, with figures in the foreground | 約瑟夫・懷特・德比,A.R.A. | 《意大利河景,黃昏下的橋與塔樓,前景見人物》

Estimate:

100,000

to
- 150,000 GBP

Lot sold:

300,000

GBP

The Property of Leighton House Museum, Kensington

肯辛頓萊頓故居博物館收藏

JOSEPH WRIGHT OF DERBY, A.R.A.

約瑟夫・懷特・德比,A.R.A.

Derby 1734-1797

1734-1797年,德比

An Italian river landscape with a bridge and tower at sunset, with figures in the foreground

《意大利河景,黃昏下的橋與塔樓,前景見人物》


signed and dated centre right: I.W.P. / 1785

and bears further signature and date lower right: I.W. / 1785

款識:藝術家簽名並紀年I.W.P. / 1785(右中),另附簽名並紀年I.W. / 1785(右下)

oil on canvas

油彩畫布

76.5 x 96 cm.; 30 1/8. x 37¾in.

76.5 x 96公分;30 ⅛. x 37 ¾英寸

The canvas is in overall wonderful condition with a discoloured varnish and very little intervention.

The lining is sensitive, the paint surface stable with no major damages visible to the naked eye, and the varnish is even but dirty. Inspection under UV light reveals only a handful of scattered retouchings, mostly at the right margin (a result of some frame abrasion), a few in sky, one in the centre of the bridge, and a few localised touches in the foliage at the front left foreground. There is only a very minor degree of wear in the female figure in the foreground where you can make out some of the details of the path and trees that Wright painted her over.

In excellent overall condition, and offered in an elaborately carved wood and gesso gilt frame in good condition.


"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

Please note that the bridge depicted here is the Ponte Salario, which crosses the river Aniene, a tributary of the Tiber, just north of Rome.

Sir Claude Phillips (1846–1924);

Presented by his executors to the Royal Borough of Kensington in 1925, and later transferred to Leighton House Museum.

B. Nicholson, Joseph Wright of Derby. Painter of Light, London 1968, vol. I, p. 260, no. 291, vol. II, p. 160, reproduced pl. 250.

On long term loan to Tate Britain, London, 1986 to 2012.

Joseph Wright of Derby spent nearly two years travelling in Italy. Having left England in November 1773, Wright arrived in Rome in February 1773 and remained there until September that year. In October and November he visited Naples, exploring Pompeii and Herculaneum, as well as the wonders of the Amalfi coast, but was back in Rome by the end of the year, staying until June 1775. The Eternal City and the surrounding countryside were a revelation to the artist and he was overwhelmed by the antiquities of the city itself. Writing to his brother in May 1774 he enthused about ‘the amazing and stupendous remains of antiquity’ and all the ‘fine things this country [Italy] abounds with... the artist finds here whatever may facilitate and improve his studies’.1


Hitherto landscape had played only a very small part in Wright’s art but in Italy, with the warmth and serenity of the south upon him, his attitude to landscape changed dramatically. As Nicholson poetically put it ‘Alexander Cozens replaces Rosa in his heart’ and he became captivated by ‘Roman ruins with picturesque shrubbery growing like tufts of unkempt hair out of their decaying arches’.2 He sketched heavily, making more drawings during his time in Italy than he had ever done before, and on his return to England seized every opportunity he had to paint landscapes; writing to a friend in 1792 'I know not how it is, tho' I am engaged in portraits... I find myself continually stealing off, and getting to Landscapes'. This picture, which is dated 1785, is a masterpiece of the artist’s late maturity and captures the more serene and meditative approach that Wright had adopted in his landscape art by this period, in which form almost dissolves into light.


1 J. Ingamells, A Dictionary of British and Irish Travelers in Italy 1701–1800, New Haven and London 1997, pp. 1023–24.

2 Nicholson 1968, p. 75.