Vesuvius from Portici by Joseph Wright of Derby

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January 16, 2014Landscape Painting1 Comment

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Vesuvius from Portici by Joseph Wright of Derby

Painting NameVesuvius from Portici
Painter NameJoseph Wright of Derby
Place of CreationItaly
Size39 3/4 x 50 in. (101 x 127 cm.)
TechniqueOil
MaterialCanvas
Current LocationThe Huntington (San Marino California)

Natural disasters are never welcomed in human society. They are the bringer of death, catastrophic deaths which puts havoc in the flourishing, prospering societies. They play more of a villainous role.

On the other hand, every natural disaster is grand show. A show which once seen can never be forgotten throughout the entire life. A scene which gets hardwired in the human brain, among the neurons that it can’t be undone, especially if it is volcanic eruption.

Such volcanic eruptions are the event to behold for a long time. They doesn’t let the viewer even blink their eyes and mesmerizes them to its grand presence, power and makes them feel so tiny and defenseless, that any human being can’t get his head out of the impact of such catastrophic event.

Stunned for sure, but such events could be beautiful or dreadful according to your stance. If you are safe in your home watching the volcano erupting, it would more interesting for you to watch it, instead of living it in real life and running for your life amidst the raining stones, lava and other burning debris of the volcano.

Joseph Wright has depicted the scene in the way of appraising the scene’s beauty. Though, the fatal consequence of this beautiful scene is indicated by the placement of the little town near the mountain, which is about to get run over by the lava-stream.

Known for his chiaroscuro effects, Joseph wright of Derby has made many famous portrayals. This is one of the 30 depictions of the Mount Vesuvius. He made the painting during his travel of Italy in 1773-75. Even though, in 18th century Mount Vesuvius erupted for total of six times, historical evidences suggests that it not one of them erupted during his stay.

The painting also commemorates the Mount Vesuvius’s infamous eruption in 79 A.D. It brought havoc on the two nearby towns: Pompeii and Herculaneum. Both of the towns were prosperous and wealthy, though the volcanic eruption caused them to be totally destroyed. The little town near the mountain about to get destroy could be a reminiscent for one of the towns.

Joseph Wright painted around 30 paintings in the Vesuvius series.

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One Response to “Vesuvius from Portici by Joseph Wright of Derby”
  1. Leo

    Stunning!!

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