Miravan Breaking Open the Tomb of his Ancestors by Joseph Wright of Derby

This subject is from John Gilbert Cooper's Letters Concerning Taste of 1755.


Oil on canvas
127 x 101.6 cm
Acquired in:
Presented by:
Mr & Mrs A L Nicholson through The Art Fund

Miravan, an Arab nobleman has come upon the tomb of one of his ancestors with the inscription, 'in this tomb is a greater treasure than Croesus ever possessed.' Inflamed by greed, he orders it to be opened and is struck dumb when he discovers only a heap of dust and bones. Intensifying the drama and theatricality of the whole are the smashed door and lurid moonlight sky which add a sense of menace to the picture.

Venue details

Derby Museum and Art Gallery The Strand, DERBY Derbyshire DE1 1BS 01332 641 901 www.derbymuseums.org

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