Framed oil painting: The Dead Soldier by Joseph Wright of Derby (1734–1797), c.1789

Key information

Museum number

A340

Object

Framed oil painting: The Dead Soldier by Joseph Wright of Derby (1734–1797), c.1789

Gallery label

The Dead Soldier
Joseph Wright of Derby (1734–1797)
Oil on canvas, c.1789

The Dead Soldier was one of Wright’s most popular works in his lifetime and a lucrative subject for printmakers. There are several versions: this is probably a reduced studio copy.

Unusually for Wright, the subject has a strong political message: the lack of provision for soldiers’ widows. A mother grieves over her dead husband and her future poverty. Her baby’s pink hand clutches the corpse’s white one, his eyes gazing out pitifully at the viewer.

For the figures, the artist drew on his studies of Roman sculpture.

A340
Presented in memory of Dr J Maurice Harper, 1939

On display?

Yes
image a340-wright-dead-soldier

Contact Us

The Holburne Museum Great Pulteney Street Bath BA2 4DB

Opening Hours

We are open daily 10am to 5pm (Sunday and Bank Holiday 11am to 5pm)
Powered by MuseumIndex+ CollectionsOnline