In An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump, a travelling scientist is shown demonstrating the formation of a vacuum by withdrawing air from a flask containing a white cockatoo, though common birds like sparrows would normally have been used. Air pumps were developed in the 17th century and were relatively familiar by Wright's day. The artist's subject is not scientific invention, but a human drama in a night-time setting.
The bird will die if the demonstrator continues to deprive it of oxygen, and Wright leaves us in doubt as to whether or not the cockatoo will be reprieved. An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump reveals a wide range of individual reactions, from the frightened children, through the reflective philosopher, the excited interest of the youth on the left, to the indifferent young lovers concerned only with each other.
The figures are dramatically lit by a single candle, while in the window the moon appears. On the table in front of the candle is a glass containing a skull.
|artist||Joseph Wright 'of Derby'|
An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump Print
20% Cancellation Fee on Made to Order products
If you decided to cancel your made-to-order print for any reason, it is unlikely that we could sell it to another customer at full selling price. We'll therefore charge a cancellation fee of 20% of the order price.
You might also like
Customer ReviewsLogin to Review
Your review has been submitted to customer services for approval.
Your rating has been submitted.