Letter from JAMES BARRY to JOHN BRITTON, written 24 January 1801, at Castle Street, London

Source: MS Britton Coll. Box I. 15, National Portrait Gallery, London. [img] Cover: M.r Britton
8 Wilderness Row.
Goswell street 1

Bishop mark: 24 JA 1801

John Britton (1771-1857) was soon to publish The Beauties of Wiltshire (1801) in which he praised the English painter Giles Hussey (1710-88): 'To create an ideal world of grandeur and beauty, were the objects of his ambition; not survilely to copy the muffin-face of an inanimate baker, the savage deformity of a senseless porter, or the tame insipidity of a laundry-maid' (John Britton, The Beauties of Wiltshire (1801), i. 290). Barry here replies to a request by Britton for information about Hussey.

Barry had long been an admirer of Hussey; [img] he said of Hussey's work, 'The purity and elegance of his taste, his deep knowledge of all the parts which compose the human figure, and the remarkable fidelity and precision of his drawing, ought to have gained him patrons, friends, and admirers' (Inquiry into the Real and Imaginary Obstructions to the Acquisition of the Arts in England (1774), Fryer, Works of Barry, ii. 244); see also Barry to Burke, 8 July 1769.

Full display

Mr Barry presents his Comp.ts Compliments to M.r Britton & is sorry he has so little leisure & that it is so little in his power to give M.r Britton much Satisfaction respecting M.r Hussey, but will notwitstanding 2 be very happy to see M.r Britton any Morning in Castle street; 3 before one oClock.

James Barry, once R.A. 4 2424 Jany January 1801 -
James Barry Artist