Formal head and shoulders portrait of a young man

'Self Portrait Drawing', circa 1768-70, Derby Museums and Art Gallery

Wright, along with his friends and pupils in Liverpool, saw study as key to his practice as an artist. Study refers to the practice of drawing or sketching before beginning work on the final painting.

Wright's usual sources were prints and drawing-books by earlier artists and casts from classical sculptures. However, he also drew from life and in response to the works of his contemporaries. Large monochrome portraits were an important strand of his work and were much imitated by his Liverpool circle.