The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Joseph Wright

Joseph Wright, by Joseph Wright, circa 1782-1785 -NPG 4090 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Joseph Wright

by Joseph Wright
circa 1782-1785
24 1/2 in. x 20 3/4 in. (622 mm x 527 mm)
NPG 4090

This portraitback to top

Although bland in execution and lacking a high degree of finish, NPG 4090 is evidently by Wright (the omission from Nicolson's 1968 catalogue apparently an oversight). Dated c.1782-85 by Egerton, according to the apparent age of the sitter, although it could be later, according to the cut of the coat and the shirt frills, [1] and the pose relates exactly to the ‘Yoxall’ self portrait painted for Wright’s friend Thomas Gisborne in 1793. The essential modesty of the portrait perhaps renders it unlikely that it was the ‘Portrait of an Artist’ exhibited by Wright in 1785 in Robins’s Rooms. [2]
A copy of one of these types was lent H. Fitzherbert Wright to the Wright exhibition at Derby 1934 (80).

Footnotesback to top

1) Cf. Wright’s John Holland dated 1787 (B. Nicolson, Joseph Wright of Derby, 1968, no.85).
2) Cf. J. Egerton et al., Wright of Derby, exhibition catalogue, London, Paris, New York, 1990, p 228.

Physical descriptionback to top

Brown eyes, greying hair, wearing a green coat with a white neckcloth.

Provenanceback to top

[Probably the artist’s daughter Romana, who married James Cade]; bought from the Cade family by W. Wright Bemrose c.1900;1 his son, W. A. Bemrose, from whom purchased 1959.

1 Illus. from his collection, Connoisseur, LXXXVI, 1930, p 349.

Exhibitionsback to top

Midland Counties Exhibition, Derby, 1870 (798)1 lent Miss S. L. Cade; Joseph Wright, Derby, 1883 (44) lent Miss Cade; Graves' Galleries, London, 1910 (32) lent W. Wright Bemrose; Derby, Wright Bicentenary, 1934 (77) lent W. Wright Bemrose; Wright of Derby, London, Paris, New York, 1990 (149).

1 Identified in Sir George Scharf's Trustees' Sketch Books, 17/56.

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, 2004, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

View all known portraits for Joseph Wright