'The Annual Girandola at the Castel Sant' Angelo, Rome', Joseph Wright of Derby, 1775-76

A firey scene lighting up a city dominates the left side of the canvas. The smoke swirls out clockwise leading to the darker foreground containing trees which contrast against the light.

Oil on canvas, 138 x 173cm
Accession Number WAG 1428
Joseph Wright (1734 - 1797)

This was painted shortly after Wright| returned from a trip to Italy. It was paired with the 'Eruption of Vesuvius' painting: 'the one the greatest effect of Nature, the other of Art that I suppose can be' he said.

Wright was fascinated all his life with powerful effects of light and made his name painting them. Here the annual Easter firework display in Rome becomes an almost apocalyptic vision of the city.

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