Warwick Castle painting resurfaces

Joseph Wright of Derby, Derby 1734 ' Derby 1797, Lake by Moonlight with Castle on Hill''The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Michal Hornstein
Joseph Wright of Derby, Derby 1734 ' Derby 1797, Lake by Moonlight with Castle on Hill''The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Michal Hornstein

A forgotten painting of Warwick Castle has resurfaced in a Canadian Museum.

The painting ‘Warwick Castle by Moonlight’ is the work of renowned Georgian artist Joseph Wright of Derby (1734-1797).

The subject of Wright’s painting remained unidentified until 2014, when it was spotted in a cutting from a sale catalogue by art historian Adam Busiakiewicz (as reported by the Warwick Courier in April 2014).

Adam worked at Warwick Castle between 2009 and 2013. During his Master’s Degree at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art. He identified the view as being one of the castle, but because it was in an unknown private collection, he could go no further with research using the catalogue image.

In 2017 Adam won a scholarship at the University of Warwick to begin his doctoral research into the interiors and collection of Warwick Castle.

Wright is considered one of the greatest landscape painters of the eighteenth century, and his works are found in the National Gallery and other museums across the globe.

The picture was gifted to the Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal by notable philanthropists Michal and Renata Hornstein in 2015.

Adam said: “I am thrilled that this picture has finally resurfaced. Nearly every great landscape artist of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was inspired to produce a view of Warwick Castle, including later artists such as Turner and Constable.”

Further evidence has also surfaced from the Wright’s notebook, which proves he painted a view of Warwick Castle by Moonlight for a Mr Cutler who eventually rejected the picture.

Adam will be presenting a lecture on his research on the Art of Warwick Castle for the Friends of the Warwickshire County Record Office this autumn.