Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Isaac Barré (1726-1802), Soldier and politician; MP for Wycombe and Calne

Soldier and politician, of Irish Huguenot descent; served under Wolfe at Quebec; MP 1761-90, the defender of American citizens as the sons of Liberty; he lost his sight in 1790.

‘A black, robust man, of a military figure, rather hard-favoured than not[,] young, with a peculiar distortion on one side [the left] of his face, which it seems was owing to a bullet lodged loosely in his cheek, and which gave a savage glare to one eye’ (Horace Walpole, Memoirs of George III).

‘[in 1781 he was] of athletic frame and mould, and endowed with extraordinary powers of voice ... deprived already of one eye, and menaced with a privation of both, advanced in years, grey-headed, and of a savage aspect, he reminded the beholders when he rose of Belisarius rather than of Tully’ (Sir Nathaniel Wraxall, 1815).

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.