Joseph Wright (1756 - 1793 )

Not to be confused with the more famous British painter of the same name, Joseph Wright of New Jersey was the son of the early American sculptor Patience Wright. Among the works of art credited to him are portraits of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and a portrait of his own family, shown below. Wright was born in Bordentown, New Jersey in 1756. His home there, still standing, can be seen at the first link below.

According to, Wright created portraits in oils and wax and also worked in metal. He "was best known for his portraits of George Washington and his wife, Martha, made possible around 1783 by recommendations to the Washingtons from Benjamin Franklin. Wright did two types of Washington portraits, three-quarter length busts, which are at the Maryland and Pennsylvania Historical Societies, and profile busts, one of which is in the Cleveland Museum. He also modeled a clay bust of Washington."(1)

Wright's portrait of Benjamin Franklin can be seen online at (see link below). The artist died in Philadelphia in 1793.

(1) (see link below).

The Wright Family

The Wright Family, 1793, oil on canvas, 37 5/16 x 32 inches. Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia. Gift of Edward S. Clarke.

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