Sunday 12 April 2015

Art in Details: Joseph Wright of Derby

Here I have focused in on a small section of unquestionably the artists most famous work the air pump experiment. I have chosen this particular section as it effectively displays his masterful handling of light falling on surfaces. In the centre of the detail is the air pump itself the light bouncing off the reflective surface creating strong contrasts of light and dark. This is particularly evident when we compare the treatment of the metal cylinders with the wood or stone ones where he has used a more subtle graduation of tones to suggest a matte effect. One of my favourite elements of this detail is that you can just see a ghost of the candle from which the light emanates through the murky translucent water in the glass bowl.

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