Letter from JAMES BARRY to SOCIETY OF ARTS, written 23 January 1799, at Castle Street, London

Source: MS RSA AD/MA/104/10/403, Royal Society of Arts, London. [img] Cover: To the Right Hon.ble the
President, Vice Presidents
& the rest of the Noblemen &
gentlemen of the Society for
the Encouragement of Arts &c
John Street
Adelphi

Although Barry had spent many years from 1777 onwards decorating the Great Room of the Society of Arts with six paintings, The Progress of Human Culture, he had not been a member of the Society. At a meeting of 16 January 1799 the Society elected him 'a perpetual member of this Society'. 1

Barry asked Samuel More, the Secretary to the Society, to look the letter over 'this night' before he sent it (Barry to More, 23 January 1799).

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My Lords & Gentlemen,

I am very much gratified by the honour you have done me in the Resolution passed by your Society on Wednesday last. As I well know the just value of such favours, I accept them with great thankfulness & shall feel myself extremely happy to shew my grateful sense of that honour, in any matters where the Society may think my opinions of the least use for furthering those truly noble patriotic views which have been so long & so honourably the unremitting object of their attention. That our Society (a phrase which from your indulgent partiality to me, I may use) That it may long continue to flourish as an illustrious, provident, exemplary stimulus for promoting those manly exercions exertions which by calling forth the latent abilities of human nature are so conducive to the melioration & happiness of social life, is the ardent wish of My Lords & Gentlemen your much obliged & devoted humble servant -

James Barry R.A. Professor of Painting to ye the Royal Academy

Castle s.t Jan.January 23. 1799

To the Right Hon.ble Honourable the President,2 Vice Presidents & the rest of the Noblemen & Gentlemen of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts &c. John Street Adelphi