A Man about Town

John Inigo Wright


With his smart coat, high shirt collar and casually rumpled hair, this confident-looking young gentleman is very much the man about town. Dated 1810, the portrait may have been commissioned as a gift for his future wife.

The portrait is painted on card and is signed on the reverse – – Jn Wright pinxt / Burlington Gardens / corner of Old Bond St / 1810. It is set in a gold-plated frame that is glazed on the reverse to show the artist’s signature.

Relatively little is known about the life of the artist John Inigo Wright who exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1795 and 1819. The New Times (8 March 1820) reported an inquest into his sudden death held at his lodgings, 54 Old Bond Street –

“Saturday morning, about four o’clock, a noise was heard in the room where he slept; he was found in bed, but complained of having been restless all night. He did not get up; and at twelve o’clock he was found in his chamber, hanging by a cord from the tester of the bed. A surgeon was called in who attempted to bleed him, but without effect. Verdict: Lunacy”

He was just 50 years of age so his death was a tragic loss of talent.

Item Ref. 7162

Size: framed, 86 x 73mm + bail