Joseph Wright of Derby, 1784 - Penelope Unraveling Her Web - fine art print

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Artwork description by the museum (© - by The J. Paul Getty Museum -

Artwork Label

The potter Josiah Wedgwood commissioned this painting from Joseph Wright of Derby as a tribute to female loyalty and industry. In Homer's Odyssey, Penelope, awaiting the return of her husband Odysseus from the Trojan War, was beset by suitors who claimed that Odysseus had been shipwrecked. She promised to marry one of them after she completed a shroud for her father-in-law. Steadfastly loyal to her absent husband, Penelope unraveled her weaving at the end of each day to avoid remarrying.

Wright presented Penelope late at night, rewinding her thread into a ball. In the foreground, the backlit statue of Odysseus invokes his presence. Moonlight bathes the sleeping figure of their son Telemachus while Penelope looks on. The strong effect of light and dark contributes to the hushed atmosphere and increases the drama of Penelope's plight. [Source: The Getty]

Text by the contributor: The Myth behind the painting

Penelope, wife of King Odysseus (Ulysses), waited for her husband to return from Troy for twenty years. While she waited, suitors, claiming the throne, would stay in her palace, courting her. In order to escape them and stay faithful to Odysseus, Penelope vowed to marry one of them, as soon as she would have completed the web she was weaving. But that would never happen! Penelope, famous for her cleverness apart from her faithfulness to her husband, every day night would unravel the fabric she had woven the day before...

Structured table of the artwork

Artpiece name: "Penelope Unraveling Her Web"
Artwork classification: painting
Category: classic art
Artwork century: 18th century
Year of creation: 1784
Age of artwork: over 230 years old
Original medium of artwork: oil on canvas
Original dimensions: 106 x 131,4 cm
Exhibited in: The J. Paul Getty Museum
Museum location: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Website of the museum: The J. Paul Getty Museum
Artwork license type: public domain
Courtesy of: The J. Paul Getty Museum

About the artist

Name: Joseph Wright of Derby
Alias names: Wright Joseph, Wright, J. Wright, Jos. Wright of derby, J. Wright of Derby, Wright de Derby, wright james of derby, Wright of Darby, Joseph Wright of Derby, wright jos of derby, Wright of Derby Joseph, Wright Thomas, wright j., Joseph Wright of Derby, Wright Joseph (Wright Of Derby), Joseph Wright of Darby, Wright Of Derby, Joseph Wright, Wright of Derby, wright james of Derby, Wright Joseph of Derby
Gender: male
Artist nationality: British
Jobs: painter, artist
Country of the artist: the United Kingdom
Classification: old master
Art styles: Baroque
Age at death: 63 years
Born in the year: 1734
City of birth: Derby, Derbyshire, England, United Kingdom
Died: 1797
Place of death: Derby, Derbyshire, England, United Kingdom

The product specs

Print categorization: art reproduction
Reproduction method: reproduction in digital format
Production method: UV direct printing (digital print)
Provenance: Germany
Type of stock: on demand production
Intended usage: art reproduction gallery, art collection (reproductions)
Alignment of the image: landscape format
Aspect ratio: length to width 1.2 : 1
Aspect ratio meaning: the length is 20% longer than the width
Materials you can choose from: poster print (canvas paper), acrylic glass print (with real glass coating), metal print (aluminium dibond), canvas print
Canvas print (canvas on stretcher frame): 60x50cm - 24x20", 120x100cm - 47x39", 180x150cm - 71x59"
Acrylic glass print (with real glass coating): 60x50cm - 24x20", 120x100cm - 47x39", 180x150cm - 71x59"
Poster print (canvas paper) variants: 60x50cm - 24x20", 120x100cm - 47x39"
Aluminium print sizes: 60x50cm - 24x20", 120x100cm - 47x39"
Framing of the art reproduction: not included

Pick your material

In the dropdown menu right next to the product offering you can select the material and size of your choice. You can select your preferred material and size among the following preferences:

  • Acrylic glass print (with real glass coating): The print on acrylic glass, which is sometimes denoted as a UV print on plexiglass, transforms the original into magnificient décor. The artwork will be printed thanks to modern UV printing machines. This has the image effect of intense and stunning colors. The major advantage of a plexiglass fine art copy is that contrasts plus smaller color details become recognizeable with the help of the precise gradation. The acrylic glass protects your selected art replica against light and external influences for between 4 and 6 decades.
  • The poster print (canvas material): The Artprinta poster is a UV printed flat canvas with a granular texture on the surface. Please bear in mind, that depending on the size of the canvas poster print we add a white margin of around 2 - 6cm round about the painting in order to facilitate the framing with your custom frame.
  • Canvas: The canvas direct print is a printed cotton canvas mounted on a wooden stretcher. The great advantage of canvas prints is that they are relatively low in weight, which means that it is easy and straightforward to hang the Canvas print without extra wall-mounts. Canvas prints are suitable for any kind of wall.
  • Aluminium dibond print: An Aluminium Dibond print is a print material with an outstanding depth effect. For our Direct Print On Aluminum Dibond, we print the chosen artwork right on the aluminium white-primed surface.

The masterpiece Penelope Unraveling Her Web was created by the male painter Joseph Wright of Derby in the year 1784. The artwork was painted with the dimensions: 106 x 131,4 cm. Oil on canvas was applied by the painter as the technique for the work of art. It is included in the digital collection of The J. Paul Getty Museum, which is part of the J. Paul Getty trust and is one of the world's largest arts organizations worldwide. It seeks to inspire curiosity about, and enjoyment and understanding of, the visual arts by collecting, conserving, exhibiting, and interpreting works of art of outstanding quality and historical importance.. The public domain artwork is being provided with courtesy of The J. Paul Getty Museum.Creditline of the artwork: . The alignment of the digital reproduction is in landscape format and has an aspect ratio of 1.2 : 1, which means that the length is 20% longer than the width. Joseph Wright of Derby was a male artist, painter, whose style can primarily be attributed to Baroque. The artist was born in the year 1734 in Derby, Derbyshire, England, United Kingdom and died at the age of 63 in 1797 in Derby, Derbyshire, England, United Kingdom.

Legal note: We try what we can to depict the art products with as many details as possible and to demonstrate them visually on the various product detail pages. Nonetheless, the tone of the print materials, as well as the printing may vary somehwat from the presentation on the device's monitor. Depending on your settings of your screen and the nature of the surface, not all color pigments will be printed one hundret percent realistically. Given that the art prints are processed and printed by hand, there may also be slight deviations in the motif's size and exact position.

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