Reverend D'Ewes Coke, His Wife Hannah, And Daniel Parker, MP

BY JOSEPH WRIGHT, C. 1780-82

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Reverend D'Ewes Coke (1747-1811) was Rector-Patron of Pinxton and South Normanton in Derbyshire, a landowner, artist, and naturalist.

He is the lead figure in Joseph Wright of Derby's acclaimed group portrait of the family; a painting he commissioned just a year or so after his inheritance of Brookhill Hall, in 1780. It is perhaps within the grounds of his new home that Wright portrayed him, with his wife Hannah, and distant cousin, the independent MP, Daniel Parker Coke (1745-1825), engaged in conversation over a drawing.

D'Ewes is confirmed as the creator of the drawing by the presence of a mechanical pencil, or porte-crayon, in his hand, and by the portfolio on which his wife leans. The corner of one sheet reveals a tree study - perhaps a design for the landscaping of the new estate.

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