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Indian Widow, Joseph Wright - description of the painting

Indian Widow, Joseph Wright - description of the painting


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Native American Widow - Joseph Wright. 101.6 x 127 cm

An unbending character, fortitude, masculinity, patience, unlimited fidelity ... and all this is about a woman. “Native American Widow” - a painting by the English painter Joseph Wright is dedicated specifically to a woman who lost her husband in battle. What does she do, lonely and tired, under a dry broken tree, looking upward with her broken frame? The answer to this question is contained in the full title of the canvas: "The widow of the Indian leader, guarding the weapons of his late husband." The name already carries a dramatic emotional message, although the shortened name of the work is more common in art history. And Wright himself called the picture simply “Native American Widow.”

The plot unfolds against the backdrop of an active volcano. Dense puffs of smoke enveloped the whole sky, almost hiding the sun. The terrain is almost invisible. It seems that a real tragedy is unfolding. But does a young woman notice this? No, she is completely immersed in her gloomy thoughts.

With amazing accuracy, Wright depicts the ammunition of a fallen Indian - a quiver with arrows, decorated with feathers, a bow, a tomahawk sticking out in a tree trunk. Most likely, the master wrote all this from nature. But the heroine was recreated in accordance with the traditions of that time, which dictated to write the suffering woman in a certain pose, dressed in a dress with drapery.

And, of course, the author resorts to his favorite trick - a dark background, diluted with only a small source of light. Most often, this role is played by Wright candles, here we see the barely noticeable smoky rays of the sun.

It is known that Wright once again turned to this story, but, unfortunately, a lesser-known variation died in a fire.

The Widow itself was completed in 1794, but was not exhibited during Wright's life. For the first time, the public saw her only in 1985 at a personal exhibition of the master.


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  2. Gardajinn

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  3. Muti

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  4. Luki

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