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  • Firework Display at the Castel Sant' Angelo in Rome (La Girandola)

    Artist:
    Wright of Derby, Joseph. 1734-1797
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    162,5x213 cm

Wright of Derby, Joseph. 1734-1797

Firework Display at the Castel Sant' Angelo in Rome (La Girandola)

Great Britain, 1779

Joseph Wright was enthralled by the use of lighting efffects in painting, creating special mood and atmosphere in his canvases. He visited Rome in 1774-75 and was most impressed by the several firework displays (girandolas) held there each year, for instance during Holy Week and on the eve of the festival of SS Peter and Paul. These fireworks were set off from the roof of the Castel Sant'Angelo. In the autumn of 1774 he also set off to watch the volcano Vesuvius erupting. As a result he painted paired canvases of the fireworks and Vesuvius - as he put it, "the one is the greatest effect of Nature, the other of Art" - to contrast the theatrical and natural effects of fire. The purchase of these companion paintings by Catherine II in 1779 made her one of the first Europeans to recognize the importance of this then relatively unknown artist.

Title:

Firework Display at the Castel Sant' Angelo in Rome (La Girandola)

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

162,5x213 cm

Acquisition date:

Formerly in the English Palace at Peterhof

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-1315

Category:

Collection:

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