25th February 2020

Speaker: Raymond Warburton

While Joseph Wright of Derby painted fine portraits he is best remembered as a painter of the new technologies and scientific discoveries that arose in, and transformed, Britain in the 18th century. His memorable works include ‘A Philosopher Lecturing on the Orrery’, 1766, ‘An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump’, 1768, ‘The Alchemist in Search of the Philosopher’s Stone’, 1771, and his Blacksmith and Iron Forge paintings of the 1770s. This lecture will describe his involvement in the industrial scene and the enlightenment, and how it affected his relationship with the Royal Academy. It will also explain how he achieved his dazzling effects of light and shade, and how the women, children and old men who populate these paintings might be interpreted. This lecture will be jargon-free with audience engagement, backed by high quality slides.

Raymond Warburton has studied art history at the Open University and the University of Buckingham. A Guide at Tate Britain and Tate Modern, who leads public tours of all the permanent displays and also undertakes exhibition tours, he is also an experienced public speaker who has given presentations and lectures on a range of themes to diverse audiences over many years.