On Saturday 18th March at 11 am I am giving a talk in the Joseph Wright Gallery at Derby Museum and Art Gallery. This will be my third talk on on of Wright’s ‘scientific paintings’. This time it is on ‘An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump’ (exhibited in 1668).
Once again I shall be drawing attention to the significance of little details which seem to have been overlooked by other commentators. If the reception to my talk is sufficiently positive – and I can secure all the permissions I need – I will complete and publish a new mini-monograph. This will explain the origin of the curious word in the title of this post, found in a hostile reference to such demonstrations in the writings of a woman who might have been the little girl in the picture. Whether my hypothesis about the identities of most of those depicted will continue to survive critical scrutiny, I have quite a number of new things to say about this picture.