Fire & Moonlight


  • Additional Information

‘Fire and Moonlight’ by Abraham Pether FSA (1752–1812).

The painting – which depicts an extensive moonlit view across the City of London with a cottage on fire in the foreground – was exhibited at the Society of Artists Exhibition in London in 1790 and is sold with detailed provenance going back over 230 years. Such is the painting’s quality that for over 150 years it was thought to be by Joseph Wright of Derby (1734–1797) and was exhibited numerous times as such alongside many of Joseph Wright’s paintings then in the important private collection of Lord Belper of Kingston Hall.

This contemporary view of London in the late 18th century is seen from One Tree Hill in what was once the Great North Wood three miles south-east of the capital; prominent amongst the dozens of famous landmarks of Georgian London is St Paul’s Cathedral.

  • A detailed look of the life and work of Abraham Pether and his son Henry is now available at the News & Articles page of the Academy Fine Paintings website.

Between 1773 and 1811 Abraham Pether exhibited at 61 paintings at the Royal Academy, 39 at the Free Society, 24 at the Society of Artists, and at the British Institution in London.

Academy Fine Paintings only offers artwork for sale in the finest condition it can be for its age, having been professionally cleaned, conserved, and re-varnished. Clients should also note that tracked and signed for international shipping is complimentary.

Dimensions: (framed) 72.5cm x 87.5cm (28½” x 34½”)

Dimensions: (canvas only) 56cm x 71cm (22” x 28”)

Medium: Oil on canvas.

Provenance: 1860s; collection of Edward Strutt, 1st Baron Belper (1801–1880), Kingston Hall, Nottinghamshire. 1989; sold by Sotheby's, London. Thence in private UK collection.

Exhibited: 1790; the Society of Artists of Great Britain, London. 1870; Midland Counties Exhibition. 1883; Joseph Wright of Derby Exhibition. 1934; Bicentenary Exhibition of the Works of Wright of Derby. 1947; Joseph Wright Exhibition, Derby Art Gallery.

Literature: 1907; ‘The Society of Artists of Great Britain 1760–1791, The Free Society of Artists 1761–1783’, by Algernon Graves.

Presentation: Bespoke gold metal leaf frame.

Condition: Very good. Professionally cleaned, restored, and re-varnished. Ready to hang.



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