A View of Tivoli (c1783-86)

Image: Joseph Wright of Derby (1734-1797). Oil on canvas.

Image from: Derby Museum & Art Gallery

Wright was deeply attracted by the Italian landscape. In a letter to his sister Nancy, from Rome, dated 22 May 1774, he wrote: “The natural scenes are beautiful and uncommon, with an atmosphere so pure and clear, that objects twenty miles distant seem not half the way.”

Some ten years later, after his return to England, Wright created one of his great landscapes, A View of Tivoli. Tivoli is outside Rome and the painting shows a breathtaking view of the Italian countryside illuminated by the sun. The sunlight plays across an expanse of scenery, lighting hills and mountains in the distance, and the river, rocks and foliage in the foreground. Wright paints Tivoli as an insignificant silhouette within a landscape which celebrates awesome natural beauty.


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3735-0Joseph Wright of Derby and his Visit to Italy 1773 – 1775 3723-0Joseph Wright’s Journey to Italy 3744-0Study of Fragment of a Classical Frieze, Rome (1774) 3747-0Belisarius receiving Alms (1775) 3745-0Girandola with St Peter’s Rome (1774/5) 3746-0Fire in Rome (1774) 3734-0A Letter from the Artist in Rome, including Sketches of the Castel Sant’ Angelo and Saint Peter’s (1774) 4997-0Eruption of Mount Vesuvius (1774) 3721-0Virgil’s Tomb (1782) 3748-0A View of Tivoli (c1783-86) 3719-0Bridge through a Cavern, Moonlight (1791)