Donald Trump just visited Saudi Arabia on his first foreign trip. A bizarre photo of him posing with a glowing orb that resembled the witch’s crystal ball in The Wizard of Oz made its rounds on the Internet today. While I have no interest in a political discussion, I do find the lighting of the image to be eerily similar to one of Name That Painter’s favorite artists – Joseph Wright of Derby. Check it out!
Single artificial light source. Shadows at the edges (Tenebrism). Neoclassical, clearly presented figures huddled around a pseudo-scientific/industrial object. Check, check, and check! The only thing that the otherwise excellent photograph is missing is dynamism. It feels like a static photo-op instead of a Derby painting, with its figures huddling closer, on the verge of some Enlightenment discovery.
Here’s one last look at them, side by side: