Abstract

Joseph Wright of Derby’s An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump shows a family arrayed around a pneumatic demonstration. While the picture has been much written about, previous commentators have been inclined to dismiss the experiment that is its ostensible subject, seeing this as merely a pretext for the elaboration of other apparently more pressing issues. I will show, instead, that by understanding the painting within mid-eighteenth-century ideas about air we can gain a more complex sense of its position within the changing aesthetic and scientific discursive fields of the Enlightenment.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 647-670
Launched on MUSE
2016-08-03
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.