Design for a memorial tablet to Joseph Wright

 We were offered this drawing by Judy Egerton, author of the book ‘Wright of Derby’ and we thought we simply must purchase it.  It is a design for a memorial tablet to Joseph Wright of Derby, attributed to George Moneypenny (circa 1798).

George Moneypenny (fl. 1740-1807) was a sculptor who carved for the architect Joseph Pickford of Derby (among others), working at Kedleston Hall, St Helen’s House, and Staunton Harold. A number of monuments have been attributed to him around Derbyshire and Staffordshire. Moneypenny settled in Derby in 1766. It is highly likely that he and Wright would have met on numerous occasions, if not at Kedleston, then perhaps via Joseph Pickford. As such, this drawing provides important evidence of the link between Wright and other Enlightenment figures working or living in Derbyshire. It is still unclear as to whether Moneypenny was commissioned to produce the design for the memorial tablet, or whether it was completed as a gesture of friendship in recognition of his late acquaintance.

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