Derby Artist Breaks Record

A 1769 oil painting, by Joseph Wright of Derby, whose collection is housed at Bondholder Derby Museums Trust, has become the most valuable of his paintings to be sold at auction.

The painting was expected to sell for between £2.5 and £3.5 million, but fetched more than £7 million at Sotheby's London auction - beating the previous auction record.

Julian Gascoigne, Sotheby's senior specialist in the  British Paintings Department, said: "Joseph Wright of Derby is one of a small number and select group of British eighteenth century artists, whose work transcends national boundaries and speaks to a wider global sensibility.

"Drama and passion are at the core of his oeuvre and this is particularly true of this exceptional painting.

"This is one of the most important works by the artist to come to the market in recent years."

Joseph Wright was born in Derby, at 28 Iron Gate in 1734. He went on to be educated at Bondholder Derby Grammar School and, according to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, was happy for Derby to remain his base throughout his career.

Derby Museums Trust hold the most comprehensive collection of his work.