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Monument to Joseph Wright

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:DRBY006566
:Derby
:Irongate
:Monument to Joseph Wright
:1997
:Matthews, Eric
:Eric Matthews
:
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Joseph Wright (1734-1797) was the most significant artist of the English Midlands during the late eighteenth century. He painted portraits, landscapes and interiors and was probably the most perceptive painter of industrial and scientific subjects of his time. He was a close friend of two members of the Lunar Society, the geologist and engineer, John Whitehurst and the doctor, scientist and poet Erasmus Darwin. The 'Orrery' was invented in the early 18th century to show the movement of the planets around the sun during the course of the year. It was named after the Earl of Orrery who sponsored its invention. The instrument was operated by turning a handle on the base which drove a clockwork mechanism, setting the planets in motion on concentric discs around the centre where a brass sphere on a stem usually represented the sun. Joseph Wright was born at 28, Irongate. The building was demolished in 1905.