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Fine Art
A Philosopher Giving a Lecture on the Orrery

Engraving of a famous 1765 painting done by Joseph Wright of Derby (1734-1797), an English landscape and portrait painter.

Wm. Pether, delin. et fecit. Boydell, excudit.

The painting depicts the demonstration of an Orrery, a mechanical model of the solar system that was used to demonstrate the motions of the planets around the sun-making the universe seem almost like a clock. In the center of the Orrery is a gas light, which represents the sun (though the figure who stands in the foreground with his back to us block this from our view); the arcs represent the orbits of the planets.

ID: 2011-00098
Wright, Joseph

Creation May. 20, 1768

MEDIUM: Paper; FORMAT: Print (b&w); QUANTITY: 1

Topics: History, Art

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