Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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An Academy by Lamplight

Engraver:
William Pether (British, Carlisle ca. 1738–1821 Bristol)
Artist:
After Joseph Wright (Wright of Derby) (British, Derby 1734–1797 Derby)
Publisher:
Published London by William Pether (British, Carlisle ca. 1738–1821 Bristol)
Date:
February 20, 1772
Medium:
Mezzotint; second state of two
Dimensions:
plate: 22 7/8 x 17 7/8 in. (58.1 x 45.4 cm) sheet: 23 x 18 1/8 in. (58.4 x 46 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1953
Accession Number:
53.600.566
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 690
In a stone chamber containing the "Nymph with a Shell and Borghese Gladiator," six fancifully dressed young artists have assembled to sketch by lamp-light. The virtuoso realism—exemplified by the chipped stone plinth—belies the scene's mysterious, romantic mood. Pether's exquisite mezzotint, based on a painting by Wright, displays subtle tonal range, with deep shadows warmed by the brownish hue of the ink. Against a range of velvety darks, highlights—such as the protruding sheet beneath the foremost draftsman's sketch—appear almost to glow.
Princes of Liechtenstein; Vendor: P. & D. Colnaghi & Co.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," November 28, 1994–February 5, 1995.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," October 6, 1997–January 4, 1998.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," July 27, 2004–October 25, 2004.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection".

Tate (Clayton) P9 ii; Chaloner Smith III.994.46 ii/ii
John Chaloner Smith British Mezzotinto Portraits...from the introduction of the art to the early part of the present century. Henry Sotheran & Company, vols. 1-4, 1878–83, vol. III, p. 994, cat. no. 46 ii/ii.

Roy Morris "Engravings after Joseph Wright" in Print Collector's Quarterly. vol. 19, 1932, pp. 103, 107, ill.

Benedict Nicolson Joseph Wright of Derby: Painter of Light. Paul Mellon Foundation for British Art, London, 1968, related painting (Yale Center for British Art), cat. no. 189, p. 234, pl. 60.

Timothy Clayton "The Engravings and Publication of Prints of Joseph Wright's Paintings" in: Joseph Wright of Derby, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery. London, 1990, cat. no. 159 / P9 ii/ii, p. 240, ill.

Judy Egerton, Tate Gallery Wright of Derby. Tate Gallery Publications, London, 1990, related painting (Yale Center for British Art), cat. no. 23, p. 63.



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