This recently discovered oil landscape by Joseph Wright of Derby (1734–97) will be offered for sale by Richard Winterton at Hilliards Cross, Lichfield on August 31.
This painting, titled Moon Light Scene in manuscript on the wooden stretcher, was painted after his working visit to Italy in 1773-74. It may be a composite scene rather than a real view. However, it does bear affinity to Dovedale by Moonlight, exhibited 1785, and now in Oberlin College, Ohio, USA.
Until its recent re-emergence, the painting had a chequered history. Various manuscript labels on the reverse reveal that it was entered for exhibitions in the 19th century and was cherished by its owners, particularly Mrs Collins of Hillingdon Grove, Uxbridge who in the 1880s sent it to the eminent London restorers, the Gladwell Brothers of Gracechurch Street. In their atelier, the painting was relined but, so far as can be known at present, it has remained untouched ever since. The frame, probably made in Derby, is original and of a type Joseph Wright often used.
The painting was discovered by the auction house in the property of a local client and has been seen by staff at the Derby Museum and Art Gallery. It will carry an estimate of £10,000-20,000 - in line with the £26,000 realised by a Wright of Derby view of Vesuvius erupting by moonlight sold by Christie's in June.
Contact 01283 511224.