Letter from JAMES BARRY to SOCIETY OF
ARTS, written 25 July 1804 , at Castle Street, London
Source: MS RSA AD/MA/104/10/403, Royal Society of Arts, London.
Barry entrusts this letter to his friend Valentine
Green (1739-1813) [img] to convey to the The
Society of Arts; the Society planned to have a portrait of Barry
as the frontispiece to its Transactions.1 Members were deliberating over who
should do the engraving.
Valentine Green, a member of the Society of Arts and mezzotint engraver to
the king (1773), was also a fellow of the Incorporated Society of Artists;
he was elected Associate Engraver to the Royal Academy in 1774. A portrait
of him by Lemuel Francis Abbott is in the National Portrait Gallery.
He had long been involved in liaising between Barry and the Society over
Barry's work in the Great Room of the Society at the Adelphi (see Barry to
the Society of Arts, 6 March 1777). He also helped Barry with the draft of
his pamphlet describing the paintings, The Progress of
Human Culture, 'Account of a Series of Pictures' (Fryer, Works of Barry, ii. 388 note).
M.r Barry says that, he would prefer M.r
Engraving his portrait in any way he may think proper, to which he would put his
name, according to any price the Committee may determine to give to him for his
Work, than that it should be Engraved by any other Artist, than those he has
I am much obligdobliged to
Mr Green for
ting this as my wish &
sentiment to the Committee
July 25.th 1804.