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An experiment on a bird in an air pump: a philosopher is demonstrating the formation of a vacuum by withdrawing air from a flask containing a white cockatoo. Mezzotint by V. Green, 1769, after J. Wright of Derby.

  • Wright, Joseph, 1734-1797.
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About this work

Also known as

Benedict Nicolson's title : An experiment on a bird in the air pump


[London] : J. Boydell excudit, 1769

Physical description

1 print : mezzotint ; sheet 47.4 x 58.9 cm


A philosopher shewing an experiment on the air pump. From the original picture painted by Mr Joseph Wright. Joseph Wright pinxit. Valentine Green del. et fecit.

References note

Alfred Whitman, Valentine Green, London: A.H. Bullen, 1902, p. 126 no. 167 (as "Air pump, the. After Joseph Wright. A family grouped around a table in a room ; a philosopher is experimenting with an air-pump and has a parrot in the reservoir from which the air has been drawn. A hidden candle in the centre of table is the only illuminant of the room. 17⅝ by 23. ... original price, 15s")
Benedict Nicolson, Joseph Wright of Derby, painter of light. London 1968, vol. 1, pp. 111-114, p. 235, no. 192 (as "An experiment on a bird in the air pump", and referred to in Wright's account book as "The air pump" and as "the picture of the air pump")


Wellcome Library no. 575780i



  • English

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