Joseph Wright of Derby 1734 – 1797, A Philosopher Lecturing on the Orrery, c.1766
- 100% Silk
- Hand Rolled
- Designed and Printed in Britain
- 42cm x 42cm
A Philosopher Lecturing on the Orrery is a 1766 painting by Joseph Wright of Derby depicting a lecturer giving a demonstration of an orrery to a small audience. The Orrery caused a great stir at the time, as the focus of the scene was scientific in nature rather than using a Classical subject. Wright's depiction of the awe produced by scientific "miracles" marked a break with previous traditions in which the artistic depiction of such wonder was reserved for religious events, since to Wright the marvels of the technological age were as awe-inspiring as the subjects of the great religious paintings.
Viewing sculpture by candlelight, when the contours showed well, and there might even be an impression of movement from the flickering light, was a fashionable practice and, in the orrery demonstration, the shadows cast by the lamp representing the Sun were an essential part of the display.
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