Letter from SOCIETY OF ARTS to JAMES BARRY, written 4 March 1790, at Adelphi, London

Soure: Fryer, Works of Barry, ii. 469; the letter was first printed in Barry's A Letter to the Right Honourable the President, Vice-Presidents, and the rest of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce, London, 1793; it is thus a copy of the original.

Barry had notified the Secretary Samuel More1 on 13 January that he had finished work on his six paintings in the Great Room of the Society in the Adelphi The Progress of Human Culture. The Society had then debated how to honour Barry for his work. The following letter gives the outcome of the debate which Barry summarises as follows: 'the Earl of Radnor, who was going out of town, got Mr. Valentine Green to make some time before Christmas, a motion in his Lordship's name, that the Society should do me some honours, the particulars of which I was told a few days after, but now forget: but this motion, after being bandied to and fro, fell to the ground, and Mr. Green made a motion of himself, that the Society should present me with £200. This motion, after having been carried from the Society into the Committee, fell to the ground like the former, on its coming back again from the Committee into the Society. The Society then brought forward another motion, which was carried, and of which the following letter from the Secretary gave me an account next day' (Fryer, Works of Barry, ii. 468).

Full display

Adelphi , March 4 1790


At the meeting of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce, held last night, the following resolution was confirmed. " Resolved, that the Society do grant to James Barry, Esq. Professor of Painting to the Royal Academy,2 permission to have an Exhibition of the Pictures in their great room, for any time not exceeding two months, and for any days during that time, Sundays, Wednesdays, the twenty-second of March, and the last Tuesday in May excepted; the expense of the said exhibition to be wholly defrayed by Mr. Barry."

I am, Sir, your very humble servant,

Sam. More, Secretary.

James Barry, Esq.