Small Italian sketchbook (containing 43 drawings on 44 leaves)

Joseph Wright (Wright of Derby) British

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 690

British eighteenth-century artists longed to visit Italy to study the riches available in Rome, Florence, and Venice; few collections of art were easily accessible at home (the National Gallery, for example, was not established until 1834). Unlike Sir Joshua Reynolds, whose Italian sketchbook is also shown in this case, Wright did not travel until he was in midcareer, reaching Rome in 1774. The Museum’s collection includes two of his Italian sketchbooks, which mostly contain wash drawings of landscapes and Roman ruins. Although Wright had established his reputation as a painter of portraits and figural groups, when he returned to England, his trip influenced him to focus on landscape.

Small Italian sketchbook (containing 43 drawings on 44 leaves), Joseph Wright (Wright of Derby) (British, Derby 1734–1797 Derby), Graphite, pen and ink, gray wash and yellow wash or watercolor

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leaf 3 recto