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Three Persons Viewing the Gladiator by Candlelight

A work made of mezzotint in black on off-white laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of mezzotint in black on off-white laid paper.




William Pether (English, 1731/38-1821)
after Joseph Wright of Derby (English, 1734-1797)

About this artwork

Before Valentine Green and Richard Earlom, William Pether created major mezzotints from several of the 14 paintings Joseph Wright of Derby exhibited in London between 1765 and 1772. Many of these were “candlelight pictures,” a genre exceedingly well suited to mezzotint tones. Yet Pether waited for a successful review of the 1766 painting for A Philosopher Giving a Lecture on the Orrery before he began the laborious mezzotint process, completing it only in 1768. The print sold so well that Valentine Green saw a lucrative opportunity and absconded with the mezzotint commission that could have been Pether’s for Experiment on the Air Pump.


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


William Pether


Three Persons Viewing the Gladiator by Candlelight


England (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Published 1769


Mezzotint in black on off-white laid paper


Image/plate: 48.2 × 55.5 cm (19 × 21 7/8 in.); Sheet: 48.9 × 56.5 cm (19 5/16 × 22 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Mary S. Adams, William McCallin McKee Memorial and Print and Drawing Anonymous Funds

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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