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Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

James Barry (1741-1806), Painter

See also W. L. Pressly, The Life and Art of James Barry, 1981, pp 237, 240-41, 254, 301-02.

Self Portraits
Pressly has observed how Barry’s self portraits proclaim the artist, yet such pride was evidently accompanied by ‘feelings of insecurity about his ability to perform adequately’ (W. Pressly, James Barry, The Artist as Hero, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, 1983, p 150).

1767
Painting, see NPG 213.

1776
Painting, Ulysses and a Companion fleeing from the Cave of Polyphemus, with the artist as the companion and Edmund Burke as Ulysses.

c.1777-84
Painting, Crowning the Victors at Olympia, part of the Progress of Human Culture, in which Barry appears as the Greek painter Timanthes sitting by a statue of Hercules (‘who is crushing Envy’). Royal Society of Arts, London (W. L. Pressly, The Life and Art of James Barry, 1981, no.24).

c.1780
Painting, bust length. Victoria and Albert Museum (564.70; W. L. Pressly, The Life and Art of James Barry, 1981, no.63).

Drawing, bust-length cameo profile. Royal Society of Arts, London (W. L. Pressly, The Life and Art of James Barry, 1981, no.61).

c.1780-1803
Painting, half length, as the Greek painter Timanthes, holding a picture of satyrs with a sleeping cyclops. National Gallery of Ireland (971; W. L. Pressly, The Life and Art of James Barry, 1981, no.67). The head painted c.1780, the remainder completed in 1803. Engraved J. Heath 1804; W. C. Edwards (for Cunningham’s Lives); Ridley & Holl 1806 as a bust-length oval (European Mag.).

c.1800-05
Drawing, half length, right hand at chin. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (330; D. B. Brown, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Catalogue of the Collection of Drawings, iv, The Earlier British Drawings, 1982, p 177, pl.XVII; illus. W. L. Pressly, The Life and Art of James Barry, 1981, no.63).

Drawing, bust-length profile. Pierpont Morgan Library, New York (W. L. Pressly, The Life and Art of James Barry, 1981, no.62).

c.1800-05?
Ink drawing, bust length, spectacles on forehead. Tate Gallery, Oppé Collection (T 10438; W. L. Pressly, The Life and Art of James Barry, 1981, no.68 as possibly a self portrait).

Drawing, bust length, spectacles on forehead, quill in right hand. With W. Barry McCarthy in 1908 (illus. Art Journal, 1908, p 317).

c.1802
Drawing, half length, head on right hand. Royal Society of Arts, London (W. L. Pressly, The Life and Art of James Barry, 1981, no.64). Engraved J. Barry, with some variations (illus. W. L. Pressly, The Life and Art of James Barry, 1981, p 193). C. T. Warren, who bought this drawing at Barry’s sale in 1807, described it as a ‘favourite candle light study of [Barry’s], but never intended to be made public as it was his intention that no portrait of him should be seen past the meridian of his life’ (quoted by D. B. Brown, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Catalogue of the Collection of Drawings, iv, The Earlier British Drawings, 1982, p 178).

By other Artists
1766-71
A caricature attributed to Nathaniel Dance, whole length, at Rome.British Museum (1868.6.12.2136; W. L. Pressly, The Life and Art of James Barry, 1981, p 301-02 and 1983, illus, p 13).

c.1775
Drawing by James Northcote, half length, seated, his right hand over his eyes. National Gallery of Ireland (1574; illus. W. Pressly, James Barry, The Artist as Hero, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, 1983, p 14).

1793
Drawing by George Dance, profile bust, dated 2 April 1793. Royal Academy. Engraved W. Daniell 1809 (A Collection of Portraits sketched from the Life since the Year 1793 by George Dance Esqr. R.A. and engraved in imitation of the Original Drawings by William Danniell, A.R.A., 1814); tracing by Daniell in the Yale Center for British Art (B1977.14.4192). Fuseli commented on this drawing ‘This fellow looks like the door of his own house’ (J. T. Smith, A Book for a Rainy Day, ed. W. Whitten, 1905, p 204).

1795
Painting by Henry Singleton, President and Members of the Royal Academy.

1800
Engraving by J. Owen, bust profile (Public Characters of 1800-01).

c.1805
Drawing by William Evans, see NPG 441.

1808
Bust by W. J. Coffee, offered to the Society of Arts, see NPG 441.

1819
Coade stone bust, probably modelled by Joseph Panzetta. Commissioned by Dr Clarke and Dr Edward Fryer of Greenwich, and four Coade stone copies were produced; one for St Paul’s Cathedral (illus. W. Pressly, James Barry, The Artist as Hero, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, 1983, p 20), one for the [Royal] Society of Arts in London and two for Dr Fryer. Today one is in a private collection and the St Paul’s bust remains in situ (see A. Kelley, Mrs Coade’s Stone, 1990, pp 138-39).

1834
Engraving by E. Scriven 1834, ‘from an original medallion’ (Arnold’s Mag. of the Fine Arts).

Doubtful Portraits
Paintings by L-G. Blanchet (Royal Society of Arts, London; illus. W. L. Pressly, The Life and Art of James Barry, 1981, p 14); by Opie (National Gallery of Ireland, 614), and unattributed (Sotheby’s, 25 June 1979, lot 425; illus. Connoisseur, LXXV, 1926, p 130 as a self portrait).



This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, 2004, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.