Wright, Joseph,1756–93, American portrait painter, b. Bordentown, N.J., son of Patience Lovell Wright. He studied under Benjamin West in London, where he painted the prince of Wales (later George IV). Wright worked briefly in Paris, where he knew Franklin, whose letters of recommendation enabled him to obtain a sitting from General and Mrs. Washington on his return to America. He also painted a portrait of John Jay (N.Y. Historical Society) and a group portrait of his own family (Pa. Acad. of the Fine Arts). In 1792 he was made diesinker at the U.S. Mint, Philadelphia; the nation's first official coins and medals are probably Wright's work.
(also known as Joseph Wright of Derby). Born Sept. 3, 1734, in Derby; died there Aug. 29, 1797. English preromantic painter.
Wright studied in London in the 1750’s and traveled in Italy from 1773 to 1775. He worked primarily in Derby. Wright was a pioneer in the artistic treatment of themes dealing with the industrial revolution. He often depicted scientific experiments and people at work. Under the influence of the Dutch followers of Caravaggio, Wright created dramatic effects of illumination at night. His works include The Air Pump (1768, Tate Gallery, London) and The Blacksmith (1773, Hermitage, Leningrad).