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The Works Of James Barry, Esq. Historical Painter; Formerly Professor Of Painting At The Royal-Academy; Member Of The Clementine Academy At Bologna, &c. Containing, His Correspondence From France And Italy With Mr. Burke - His Lectures On Painting Delivered At The Royal-Academy - Observations On Different Works Of Art In Italy And France - Critical Remarks On The Principal Paintings Of The Orleans Gallery - Essay On The Subject Of Pandora; (Now First Published From Manuscripts, And Illustrated By Engravings From Sketches, Left By The Author.) And His Inquiry Into The Causes Which Have Obstructed The Progress Of The Fine Arts In England - His Account Of The Paintings At The Adelphi - And Letter To The Dilettanti Society. To Which Is Prefixed, Some Account Of The Life And Writings Of The Author. In Two Volumes. Vol. I. (II.)

James Barry RA

RA Collection: Book

Record number




London:: Printed By J. M'Creery, Black-Horse-Court, For T. Cadell And W. Davies, Strand., 1809.

Physical Description

2 vols.; 267 mm. (Quarto.)

General Note

Vol. I: vii, [i], 558 p., frontis. (port.), [11] pl.: [2] illus. (The pl. are unnumbered, but each carries the number of the page next to which it is to be bound in, viz. pp. 109, 112, 127, 128, 130, 130, 131, 132, 161, 161, 182.) - Vol. II: [iv], 670, [18] p., frontis., [3] pl. (one fold.): [4] illus. (The pl. carry the page-numbers 149, 162, 592.)


Vol. I: [Half-t., frontis., t.p.] - Preface - Some Account, &c. [incl. letters and 11pl.] - Lectures On Painting, Delivered At The Royal Academy; [colophon]. - Vol. II: [Half-t., frontis., t.p.] - Observations On Different Works Of Art In France And Italy ... - Remarks ... On The Paintings Of The Orleans Gallery; Exhibited 1798 ... [with 1 illus.] - Fragment On The Story And Painting Of Pandora [with 2 pl.] - An Inquiry Into The Real And Imaginary Obstructions To The Acquisition Of The Arts In England ... - An Account Of A Series Of Pictures, In The Great Room Of The Society Of Arts, Manufactures, And Commerce ... - A Letter To The Right Honourable The President ... Of The Society For The Encouragement Of Arts ... - 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. With An Appendix, Respecting the Matters lately agitated between the Academy and the Professor Of Painting. 1793.[with 1 pl.] - Mr. Barry's Letter To The Society Of Arts, Respecting The Naval Pillar ... - Index - Corrections In Vol. I.; [colophon].

Responsibility Note

The frontispiece portrait of Barry in Volume I is signed as drawn by W. Evans and engraved by C. Picart. The eleven unnumbered plates and two tailpieces are all signed as drawn by Barry and engraved by Warner. In Volume II the frontispiece, three unnumbered plates, one in-text illustration and three tailpieces are all signed as drawn by Barry and engraved by Warner - apart from the folding plate at p. 162 and the pailpiece at p.474, which are unsigned.

Ther frontispiece of Volume I carries the publishers' imprint of Cadell and Davies.

The printer's name is repeated in both colophons.


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 biography of Barry in the first volume includes many letters from Barry and from J.F. Sleigh, W. Burke, R. Burke, Edmund Burke, Barrett, Sir Joshua Reynolds, C. Nugent, W. O'Brien, Sir William Hamilton, the Duke of Richmond, Sir George Saville, 'R.J.L.', Ld. Aldborough, Ld. Radnor, C.J. Fox and Ld. Buchan.

It is followed by Barry's six Academy lectures on painting, which are devoted to: 1. The History And Progress Of The Art; 2, 3. Design; 4. Composition; 5. Chiaro-scuro; 6. Colouring.

The plates in Volume I show: (frontis.) 'James Barry Esq. from an original Cast, taken a short time before his Death'; [1] (p.109) 'Head-dress of the Female peasantry between Rome and Naples', 'Drawing of the model of a bronze Chariot ... at Portici'; [2] (p.112) 'Venus prepared for the Bath ... in stucco ... at Baia', 'General disposition of the Compartments'; [3-8] (pp. 127-132) 'Fig. 1(-22)' [architectural details]; [9] (p.161) 'Egyptian Sculpture of a Lion ... near the Baths'; [10] (p.161) 'Egyptian Sculpture of a Lioness near the Baths of Diocletian at Rome'; [11] (p.182) 'The Eve of Ghiberti ... Florence'. The 'Account' and the 'Lectures' are decorated with two tailpieces (pp. 338, 558).

In the second volume, Barry's Observations and Remarks on works of art, his Fragment on Pandora, his Inquiry into obstructions to the arts in Britain and his Account of his paintings at the Society of Arts are followed by a lengthy Letter detailing his relations with the Royal Academy and a short one about a Naval monument.

The plates in Volume II show: (frontis.) 'Heads of Minerva and Mercury; An intended design for a new Medal ...'; [1] (p.149) 'Bronze figure of Minerva found in the Tomb of Achilles'; [2] (p.162) 'From a drawing of the Frontons of the Temple of Minerva at Athens, done in 1683'; [3] (p.592) 'The celebrated baso-relievo of Minerva Medica on an Altar of Parian marble at Rome'. There are also four in-text illustrations (three of them, tailpieces) (on pp. 129, 415, 474, 645).

This compilation was made by E. Fryer, and reprints earlier publications. The 'Inquiry into the Real and Imaginary Obstructions ...' had been first published in 1775; the 'Account of a Series of Pictures in the Great Room of the Society of Arts ...', in 1783; the 'Letter to the ... President ... of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts' in 1793; the 'Letter to the Dilettanti Society' in 1798 (2nd. ed. with the Appendix, 1799).


A copy of this publication has been digitised by the Robarts Library, University of Toronto, and made available online via the Internet Archive digital library: https://archive.org/stream/worksofjamesbarr01barruoft#page/n11/mode/2up.


Acquired between 1809 and 1821. Recorded in RAA Library, Catalogue, 1821.

Copy Note

The last page of the Index in Volume II has an inscription in pencil relating to the entry for 'Vinci, Lionardo da', which reads, 'Cartoon of S. Anna in the possession of the Royal Academy 549-550'.

Binding Note

19th-century half calf, marbled-papered boards; red and black spine-labels lettered 'Barry's Works Vol. I. (II.)' and 'R.A.'

Name as Subject


Art - Arts - Theory
Paintings, European - Arts - Europe - History
Painters - Artists - Paintings - Academies (organizations) - Patronage - Great Britain - London - History - 18th century - 19th century
Lectures - Letters - Art criticism - Art history - Great Britain - 18th century - 19th century
Biography - Art history - Great Britain - 19th century
Pictorial works - Great Britain - 19th century