John Inigo Wright exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1795-1819, the majority of his work being copies after large oil paintings. Rather than woodenly aping the image he was copying, Wright evoked the energy and painterly vigour of his fellow oil portraitists. His close affiliation with these large oil portraits suggests that he enjoyed a close working relationship with society artists, offering their patrons a similarly lively depiction ‘in little’.

Whilst his painting style is highly reminiscent of Thomas Hudson, whom he studied with in London, Wright’s distinctive sense of candid realism emphasis is apparent in his implementation of light and shade on his subject’s faces, clothing and accessories. The hair piece depicted in the present miniature is beautifully rendered with subtle strokes to indicate folds and undulations in the fabric. The elegant pose adapted by the sitter is also indicative of the candid realism which Wright practised; this is mirrored in the closely related portrait of a...

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John Inigo Wright exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1795-1819, the majority of his work being copies after large oil paintings. Rather than woodenly aping the image he was copying, Wright evoked the energy and painterly vigour of his fellow oil portraitists. His close affiliation with these large oil portraits suggests that he enjoyed a close working relationship with society artists, offering their patrons a similarly lively depiction ‘in little’.

Whilst his painting style is highly reminiscent of Thomas Hudson, whom he studied with in London, Wright’s distinctive sense of candid realism emphasis is apparent in his implementation of light and shade on his subject’s faces, clothing and accessories. The hair piece depicted in the present miniature is beautifully rendered with subtle strokes to indicate folds and undulations in the fabric. The elegant pose adapted by the sitter is also indicative of the candid realism which Wright practised; this is mirrored in the closely related portrait of a gentleman from the Galloway family.

Much of Wright’s life remains a mystery, including his exact date of birth, but it is certain that he married twice; his first wife died whilst giving birth to his first son, John William Wright. Wright committed suicide the same year as the death of the Duke of Kent in 1820, leaving a legacy of works portraying the leading figures of the day in his distinctive hand.

Though Wright’s career was relatively short, examples of his work can be seen in the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, the British Museum, London, the National Portrait Gallery, London and The Royal Collection Trust.

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500 Years of British Art