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The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, University of Glasgow 2018
etching and aquatint
CRE BARRY, James; (Irish; 1741-1806)
printed in brown ink on laid paper
45.5 x 37.1
s. in margin b. l. "James Barry pinxt"; inscr. in plate b. c. "Philoctetes. / This engraving of a Picture in the Institute at Bologna is with the greatest respect inscribed to Sir George Saville Bart. by his very humble servt James Barry. R. A. / Published as the act directs by J. Barry Septr. 1777."
24-5, no 12, state i/ii PRESSLY, William L. 1981 The Life and Art of James Barry; Yale University Press.
From the founder, William Hunter's print collection. In this etching Barry reproduced his own earlier painting Philoctetes (1770), which was one of the last works painted in Italy before his return to London. His monumental figure of the suffering Trojan War hero, best known from Sophocles's tragedy, was presented by Barry to the Accademia Clementina in Bologna, when he became a member. As Pressly notes, Barry's erudite image is the first post-classical version of this subject, the figure being an imaginative reconstruction of the Belevedere Torso sculpture, and also inspired by an ancient epigram that mentions Parrhasios's painting of this subject. (The subject of Parrhasios's Philoctetes had been raised in 1755 by Winckelmann, in Thoughts on the Imitation of the Greeks.) In a letter from Rome to Edmund Burke, in which he mentions ancient sculpture, Barry remarked that 'Those who executed the Laoco÷n and the Torso of the Belvedere, must have attended very minutely indeed to that close anatomical investigation' (undated letter, Barry to Edmund Burke, in Barry, 1809, vol. 1 p. 69).
BELVEDERE TORSO : NEOCLASSICISM : PAIN : MYTHOLOGY : SUBLIME : ANCIENT ART : HUNTER 2007 : MYTHOLOGY : SOPHOCLES :