Rare Joseph Wright 1760s pair of paintings go under hammer

Protraits Image copyright Wallis family
Image caption Joseph and Jane Sikes were a wealthy couple who sat for the famous artist in the 1760s

Portraits of a wealthy couple painted in the 18th Century by a famous artist, but never displayed, are to be sold.

The oil paintings of Joseph Sikes and his wife Jane by Derby-based artist, Joseph Wright, have never been on show.

Now they are to be sold by auctioneers and are expected to fetch at least £50,000.

Joseph Wright was famous for painting factory scenes during the Industrial Revolution.

The portrait of Mr Sikes, who lived in Newark, Nottinghamshire, shows him in a turquoise jacket with a lace ruff. He died in 1798.

Mrs Sikes is wearing a string of pearls and pearls in her hair. The portraits will go on sale on 24 March.

Joseph Wright 1734-1797

  • Known as Joseph Wright of Derby, he was the first major English painter to be based outside London
  • Wright was the first artist to depict industry and scientific experiments of the age
  • He was noted for his use of chiaroscuro, which emphasises the dramatic contrast of light and dark
  • One of his most famous works is An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump, from 1768, which recreates an experiment by the 17th Century English scientist Robert Boyle

Source: BBC Your Paintings

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