This edition makes available all the known correspondence of the Irish painter
James Barry (1741-1806)
- Best remembered for his six huge paintings in the Great Room of the Society of Arts, London entitled "The Progress of Human Culture"
- Early romantic painter: mythological, literary and historical subjects, portraits
- Professor of painting at the Royal Academy (1782-99): writer on art and culture. William Blake was one of his students
- Greatly influenced by the aesthetics of Edmund Burke's Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful
Shortly after Barry's death his friend Dr. Edward Fryer edited a two-volume collection of his works (London, 1809) and included some of his correspondence, most notably letters between Barry and his great patron Edmund Burke. Fryer's book remains valuable - in some cases it provides our only source for letters now lost - but is incomplete. This edition draws on Fryer's work and also presents previously unpublished material.