Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 03.djvu/330

This page has been validated.
Barry
Barry
324

logy,’ of which the ‘Pandora’ was to have been the first, seems to have been the main employment of his hours. The asperity of his manners is said to have softened in these last years. Although never known to want or to borrow money, his squalid appearance and mode of life suggested an income even smaller than he possessed, and in May 1805 a meeting was called at the Society of Arts, and 1,000l. was subscribed for his benefit. With this sum an annuity of 120l. was purchased of Sir Robert Peel, to which the Earl of Buchan added 10l. But Barry did not live to receive the first payment. On 6 Feb. 1806 he was seized with pleuritic fever at a French eating-house in Wardour Street which he frequented, and he was taken to his house in a coach. Some boys had plugged the keyhole with dirt, and the door could not be opened. He was then taken to the house of his friend, Mr. Joseph Bonomi, the architect, where he died on 22 Feb., attended by a priest of the Roman catholic church, of which he was an ardent member. His body lay in state, surrounded by his great pictures, in the room of the Society of Arts, and was buried in the crypt of St. Paul's. Sir Robert Peel, who had profited by the sale of the annuity, gave 200l. to pay for his funeral and to raise a tablet to his memory.

The story of Barry tells his character so plainly that it need only be added that though violent he was not morose in temper, and that his aims, though often mistaken, were never mean. He carried independence to such an extreme that, when invited to dine at a private house, he would leave on the cloth sums (variously stated at 1s. 2d., 1s. 6d., and 2s.) to pay for his entertainment. Once Sir William Beechey playfully objected that he had not paid for his wine. ‘Shu, shu,’ said Barry, ‘if you can't afford it why do you give it? Painters have no business with wine!’ His society is said to have been agreeable, his stock of entertaining stories large. In person he described himself as ‘a pock-pitted, hard-featured little fellow.’ His face was naturally grave and saturnine, which gave uncommon sweetness to his smile and great fierceness to his anger.

Two portraits of Barry, by himself, belong to the nation; one is at the South Kensington Museum (Parsons bequest), and the other in the National Gallery. The latter was bought at the artist's sale by Mr. S. W. Singer. In 1777 Barry published an etching of ‘The Fall of Satan,’ the design which he had prepared for the decoration of St. Paul's, and among his other etchings or engravings are ‘Job reproved by his Friends,’ dedicated to Mr. Burke, and ‘The Conversion of Polemon,’ dedicated to Mr. Fox. He also engraved Michael Angelo's ‘Jonah,’ and dedicated the plate to the Duke of Bridgewater. His ‘Philoctetes’ was twice engraved, once by himself and once by Rasaspina of Bologna, and J. R. Smith engraved five designs of his from ‘Paradise Lost’ and one of ‘Milton dictating to Ellwood.’ His ‘Venus rising from the Sea’ was engraved by Valentine Green; and he published etchings both of this picture and ‘Jupiter and Juno,’ and a series of designs of ‘St. Michael.’

Barry's paintings have not sustained their reputation. The great ‘Pandora,’ which fetched 230 guineas at his sale, brought only 11½ guineas in 1846; ‘Mercury inventing the Lyre’ sold for 1l. 7s. at the sale of the elder Nollekens in 1823–4. His ‘Adam and Eve,’ which belongs to the Society of Arts, may now be seen at the South Kensington Museum. Some of his lectures have been published, together with others by Opie and Fuseli, in a volume edited by R. N. Wornum in 1848. Besides the literary works of Barry already mentioned, he published a letter to the president of the Society of Arts in 1793.

[Barry's Works, with Memoir by Dr. Fryer; Redgrave's Century of Painters; Redgrave's Dictionary; Edwards's Anecdotes; Nollekens and his Times; Cunningham's Lives, edited by Mrs. Heaton; Pye's Patronage of British Art; Reminiscences of Henry Angelo; Annals of the Fine Arts; Academy Catalogues; S. T. Davenport, in Journal of Society of Arts, xviii. 803; H. T. Wood's Note on the Pictures by James Barry, &c. (1880).]

C. M.

BARRY, JAMES (1795–1865), inspector-general of the Army Medical Department, a woman who passed through life as a man, is said to have been the granddaughter of a Scotch earl. She entered the army as a hospital assistant, attired as a man, 5 July 1813, and maintained the assumption of manhood through all the grades to which she rose until the time of her death. She became assistant-surgeon, 7 Dec. 1815; surgeon major, 22 Nov. 1827; deputy inspector-general, 16 May 1851; inspector-general, 7 Dec. 1858; and was placed on half-pay, 19 July 1859. She served at Malta many years and at the Cape of Good Hope. At Capetown, in 1819, Lord Albermarle met the doctor at the house of the governor, Lord Charles Somerset, whose medical adviser she was, while acting as staff surgeon to the garrison. She is described as ‘the most skillful of physicians and the most wayward of men; in appearance a beardless lad, with an unmistakably Scotch type of countenance, reddish hair and high cheek-bones. There was a certain effeminacy in