John Michael Wright(1617-1694), Painter
Artist associated with 29 portraits
Born and buried in London, Wright was apprenticed in Edinburgh in 1636 to the portrait painter, George Jamesone. After a lengthy stay in Rome in the 1640s during which he became a Roman Catholic, he worked for Archduke Leopold Wilhelm, Governor of the Spanish Netherlands, before settling in London in 1656. Wright worked on occasion for for the court and was appointed Picture Drawer in Ordinary to the King in 1673, but his clients increasingly came from the margins of the court and particularly from the catholic nobility and gentry. He also produced a set of full-length portraits of the 'fire judges' who had adjudicated on property disputes following the Fire of London in 1666. His portraits are characterised by a certain elegant restrained realism in contrast to the suave glamour of Peter Lely.