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James Barry

Born: Cork, 11 October 1741
Died: London, 22 February 1806
Nationality: Irish

son of an innkeeper and coastal trader


with landscape painter John Butts (Cork); with portrait and history painter Jacob Ennis at Dublin Society’s Drawing School


1763 – Baptism of the King of Cashel by St. Patrick (Dublin National Gallery) wins Dublin Society of Arts history painting prize

1764 – Edmund Burke helps Barry secure position as assistant to James Stuart on Stuart’s Antiquities of Athens (London)

1773 – elected member of Royal Academy (London)

1775 – publishes An Inquiry into the Real and Imaginary Obstructions to the  Acquisition of the Arts in England

1782 – becomes professor of painting at RA

1786-87 – exhibits King Lear Weeping over the Body of Cordelia at John  Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery

1798 – publishes A Letter to the Diletttanti

1799 – expelled from RA


Paris (1765); Rome, Florence, Bologna, Venice (1765-71)

Commissions from: 

Edmund Burke

Important Artworks: 

Self-Portrait as Timanthes, c. 1780-1803 (National Gallery, Dublin)