Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Study for Divine Justice

Artist:
James Barry (Irish, Cork 1741–1806 London)
Date:
ca. 1802
Medium:
Pen and brown ink with gray wash over graphite
Dimensions:
Sheet: 27 7/16 in. × 19 in. (69.7 × 48.3 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Purchase, Charles and Jessie Price Gift, in honor of George R. Goldner, 2015
Accession Number:
2015.44
Not on view
Barry presents rows of historical figures attended by angels, the imagery derived from "Elysium and Tartarus," one of his murals in the Great Room at the Society of the Arts, London. Painted between 1777 and 1783, the work celebrates "those great and good men of all ages and nations, who were cultivators and benefactors of mankind." Ranged at top are Trajan, Titus, Peter the Great, Henry IV of France, Andrea Doria of Genoa, Scipio Africanus, Cosimo de' Medici, Alexander the Great, Louis XIV, and Pope Julius II. Immediately below, the theologians Origen, Pascal, Bossuet, Antoine Arnauld, and Bishop Butler converse with angels. Finally, the sublime form of Divine Justice rests at the edge of Tartarus and tilts her scales toward the abyss to suggest the historical prevalence of evil over good. Barry made this drawing to create an etching at the same scale to help disseminate his ideas. Bold outlines combine with expressive wash, and incised lines demonstrate how the the artist transfered forms to a copper printing plate.
Sabin Galleries (London), by 1967; William L. Pressly, from the preceding in 1981; C. G. Boerner, New York, in 2015; Vendor: C. G. Boerner LLC, New York
Angelika Kauffmann und ihre Zeitgenossen. Exh. cat., Vorarlberger Landesmuseum, Bregenz, and Oesterreichisches Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna. 1968, cat. no. 114, p. 90.

William L. Pressly The Life and Art of James Barry. New Haven and London, 1981, cat. no. 45, p. 252.

William L. Pressly James Barry: The Artist as Hero Exh. cat., Tate Gallery, London, February 9–March 20. 1983, cat. no. 41, p. 95.

William L. Pressly James Barry, 1741-1806: 'The Great Historical Painter' Exh. cat., Crawford Art Gallery, Cork. Tom Dunne, 2005, p. 105.



Related Objects

Orpheus Instructing a Savage People in Theology and the Arts of Social Life

Artist: James Barry (Irish, Cork 1741–1806 London) Date: plate dated May 1, 1791, issued 1792 Medium: Etching and engraving; second state of three Accession: 2014.796 On view in:Not on view

Job Reproved by His Friends

Artist: James Barry (Irish, Cork 1741–1806 London) Date: dated 1777; issued ca. 1790 Medium: Etching over traces of aquatint; third state of five Accession: 2016.175 On view in:Not on view

The Distribution of Premiums at the Society of Arts

Artist: James Barry (Irish, Cork 1741–1806 London) Date: 1792, printed after 1806 Medium: Etching and engraving; fourth state of four Accession: 61.663.217 On view in:Not on view

William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, with the Figure of Britannia

Artist: James Barry (Irish, Cork 1741–1806 London) Date: 1778 Medium: Etching and aquatint; first state of six Accession: 61.658.14 On view in:Not on view

Jonah

Artist: James Barry (Irish, Cork 1741–1806 London) Date: 1801 Medium: Etching and engraving; third state of four Accession: 66.722.1 On view in:Not on view