This subject is from John Gilbert Cooper's Letters Concerning Taste of 1755.
Miravan Breaking Open the Tomb of his Ancestors by Joseph Wright of Derby, 1772
© Derby Museum and Art Gallery
- 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.