The lecture at the Derby Museum and Art Gallery at 2 pm on 23rd November was going to be on both Joseph Wright’s painting ‘An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump’ and his ‘The Alchymist, in search of the Philosopher’s Stone, discovers Phosphorus’. However having stumbled upon some major surprises when investigating the Air Pump, I have concluded I need to undertake further investigations before going public. They may lead to a major discovery or else turn out to be a complete red herrings. The worst outcome would be being unable either to prove or to refute my conjectures.
Even if the investigation of the Air Pump does turn out to be a wild goose chase, it is taking me through some interesting countryside which I will share with people at a talk in March next year.
In the meantime the lecture on 23rd November will be exclusively on ‘The Alchymist’. Recent close attention has led me to a number of observations which do not appear to have been made before. While not world-shattering, these observations may justify treatment in a mini-monograph of their own. I will see what the audience on 23rd thinks about that.