James Barry's "Hairbreadth niceties": risk, reward and the reform of culture around 1770 - Tate Research Repository
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James Barry's "Hairbreadth niceties": risk, reward and the reform of culture around 1770

2017

Abstract

In his vicious and lengthy review of Edward Fryer’s Works of James Barry, Esq. Historical Painter (1809), Richard Payne Knight was at some pains to detail the genesis of what he considered to the painter’s ‘radical error’: the profoundly perverse narcissism or ‘morbid vanity’ that seemed to fuel the Irish painter’s intemperate writings and guide his ill-conceived art. 1 Damning as he was in his invective, Payne Knight allowed that Barry was only one of a whole generation of young artists misled into such unhealthy self-regard by their experience of the cosmopolitan art community of Rome around 1770.

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