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A Letter To The Dilettanti Society, Respecting The Obtention of certain Matters essentially necessary for the Improvement of Public Taste, and for accomplishing the original Views of the Royal Academy Of Great-Britain. By James Barry, Esq. R.A. Professor Of Painting To The Royal Academy. - The Second Edition. - With An Appendix, Respecting the Matters lately agitated between the Academy and the Professor of Painting. -

James Barry RA

RA Collection: Book

Record number




London:: Printed For J. Walker, Paternoster-Row., M.DCC.XCIX. - Price Five Shillings.

Physical Description

292 p.; 216 mm. (Octavo.)


[T.p.] - [Text] - An Appendix ... .


ESTC, T92645
The context is outlined in H. Hoock, The King's artists: the Royal Academy of arts and the politics of British culture 1760-1840 (2003), esp. p. 190 and notes
J. Barrell, The birth of Pandora (1992).
J. Barrell, The political theory of painting from Reynolds to Hazlitt (1986).
W.L. Pressly, James Barry: the artist as hero [exhibition catalogue] (1983).
W.L. Pressly, The life and art of James Barry (1981).

Summary Note

The history-painter James Barry had been elected to the Royal Academy in 1773 and appointed Professor of Painting in 1782. He first published this Letter in 1798, deploring the state of patronage in Britain and what he regarded as the Academy's ineffectiveness. In 1799 on 15 April he was expelled by his fellow-Academicians; and in this second edition of his Letter he includes an Appendix giving his account of the Academicians' action.


An electronic reproduction was published in 2003 (Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale). A microfilm version was published in 1986 (Woodbridge CT: Research Publications).

Binding Note

18th-century mottled calf; rebacked in 1987 by A. Wessely, black morocco spine-label lettered 'Letters To The Dilettante Society', spine lettered 'Barry'.

Name as Subject


Painters - Artists - Paintings - Academies (organizations) - Societies - Patronage - Great Britain - London - History - 18th century
Letters - Art criticism - Great Britain - 18th century