Joseph Wright of Derby: His inspirations and symbols

Date
2013-12
Authors
Laws, Leslie Ann
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Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to analyze and expand on the use of symbolism in some of Wright's paintings depicting portraiture, landscape, mythology, and history. Although Wright never directly addressed the use of symbolism in his work, observations/interpretations can be formed based on contextual information. Five paintings are analyzed in this thesis in regard to Wright's use of symbols. Other pieces of art are referenced; however, their inclusion is only intended to augment the expansion of information about Wright's work and to substantiate a particular interpretation of his artwork. This thesis is arranged in such a way as to provide a discussion of Joseph Wright's association with the Enlightenment, Industrial Revolution, members of the Lunar Society, and their impact on his artworks. Research was conducted by examination of peer-reviewed and scholarly periodicals, books, and Internet sources.

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Keywords
Communication and the arts, Symbology, Art interpretation
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