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employers to look for. Had I studied art in a manner more accommodated to the nation, there would be no dread of this."
On the 22d of April, 1770, he left Rome, and proceeded to examine the principal galleries which lay in his way home. His memorandums are numerous, and all marked by his peculiarity of character and idolatry of the antique. The Venus and Apollo had blinded him to all other excellence. "I am arrived," said he, " at that unlucky pass, that nothing will go down with me but perfection, at least in some one of the grand essentials of a picture. In Turin I saw the Royal Collection of Pictures; but, except one or two by Guido, which I did not like, all the rest are Flemish and Dutch. Rubens, Rembrandt, Vandyke, Teniers, and Saalken, are without the pales of my church; and though I will not condemn them, yet I must hold no intercourse with them. God help yon, Barry, said I, where is the use of your hair-breadth niceties and your antiques t Behold the handwriting upon the wall against you. In the country to which you are going, pictures of lemon-peels, oysters, and tricks of colour, are in as much request as they are here." There were moods, nevertheless, in which he felt the difficulty of judging wisely of a work of genius, and he spoke truly when he said, "One painter is a very improper person to give an account of another that is out of the pale of his school; they must think of one another as the Catholics and Calvinists do—all without doors is damnation."
He reached Milan. He was unnoticed and unknown; his enemies were far behind; and he seemed in a fair way of returning to London in tranquillity and peace. But even here, controversy fell in his way, and he embraced it. The Medusa's head of Leonardi da Vinci—with its gloomy brow, watery eyes, and looks full of agony—had gained that eminent painter a place in Barry's esteem, and he went to pay a visit to his celebrated Last Supper. His own account of what followed is too characteristic to be omitted, and too dramatic to be abridged.
"When I came into the Reffetorio I found a scaffold erected, which on ascending I saw one half of the picture covered by a great cloth: on examining the other part that was uncovered, I found the skin of colour which composed the picture to be all cracked into little squares of about the eighteenth of an inch over, which were for the most part in their edges loosened from the wall and curling up: however, nothing was materially lost. I saw that the picture had been formerly repaired in some few places; yet as this was not much, and as the other parts were untouched, there was nothing to complain of. The wonderful truth and variety of the expressions, so well described by Vassari and Rubens, and the admirable finesse of finish and relievo taken notice of by Armineni, were still remaining. While I was examining this part of the picture, two gentlemen came upon the scaffold, and drew aside the cloth which covered the other half, which, to my great horror and astonishment, was repainted. One of those men was at great pains to show the vast improvements the picture was receiving by this repainting; but the repainting and the discourse so kindled my indignation, that I was no longer master of myself. 'What, sir,' said I, 'is it possible you do not perceive how this painter —if I can call him painter—has destroyed the picture in every part on which he has laid his stupid hands? Bo not you see that this head is distorted and out of drawing, that there is no longer significance or expression in it, that all his colouring is crude and wants accord1 Do, sir, open your eyes, and compare it with the other half of the picture which he has not as yet buried under his cursed colours.' He answered me, that this was only e dead colour, and the painter was to go over it a second time. 'Oh, confusion!' said I,' so much the worse. If he has thus lost his way while he was immediately going over the lines and colours of Leonardos work, what will become of him when he has no longer any guide, and is left blind and abandoned to his own ignorance V And turning myself to two friars of the convent, who stood by,' Fathers,' said I,' this picture and the painter of it have suffered much by the ignorance of your order. It was white-washed over some years ago; it has been again hurt in washing off the white; and now you have got a beast to paint another picture upon it, who knows no more of the matter than you do yourselves. There was no occasion for thus covering it over with new colours: it might easily be secured in those parts that are loosening from the wall, and it would stand probably as long as your order will.' The friar told me that he did not understand those matters, and that he spoke but very little Italian—that he was Irish, and that it was by order of the Count de Firmian, who was secretary of state, that this picture was repainted. 'Indeed, then, countryman,' said I, 'the world will be very little obliged to Count de Firmian: it were to be wished, and it will be for the honour and interest of your convent if you can prevail upon the Count to spare at least what is remaining of the picture, and take down the scaffold immediately.'"
Of his five years' occupations abroad, a very general account must be rendered. Much of his time was consumed in this sort of warfare: a little was given to a very ingenious inquiry into the origm of Gothic architecture, and to the collection •of those historical materials which he afterward used in his refutation of Winkelmann; but many hours, doubtless, were devoted to the proper objects of his professional study. His ardent spirit enabled him to master much in a little while; and he seems to have examined all that was worth examination with care and attention. He observed, however, no method in his studies: his hours of attending the galleries were dictated by chance; and his mode of copying, by means of a delineator, enabled Mm to store away the works he liked at a cheap rate; his brethren called it mechanical and unartistlike—they might have added that he was stealing rather than acquiring. The hand of a master may trace by a mechanical process—that of a student must work, if it is to work to purpose, by the unaided eye. Barry outlined all the fine antique statues in this manner. The only copies in oil which he made were some few which he sent to Burke, and the only original pictures which he painted were the Adam and Eve and the Philoctetes. He was, at this time, as slow and fastidious in his art, as rash and precipitate in his temper.
On his arrival in England he was warmly welcomed by Burke; and the first picture which he exhibited was not unworthy of one who aspired to revive the faded lustre of historic painting. He measured himself at once with the most lovely of all Grecian productions, and painted Venus rising out of the sea. This picture is allowed, by friends and foes, to be an exquisite one: but he painted it in vain; it excited no lively sympathy—no fresh emotion; the subject had been exhausted by sculptors and painters—by loftier minds and happier hands. It was received with cold approbation. Having shown his skill in the graceful and lovely, he desired next to grapple with what is called the grand style, and painted his Jupiter and Juno—a work better conceived than executed, exhibiting much majesty of outline, and no little deficiency in colour. But what were Jupiter and Juno to the public of 1773 f The great artists of Greece and Italy wrought in the spirit of their age and country; they sought at home for subjects of high character,
yet familiarly known. But the heathen gods on Barry's canvass appealed to no popular sympathy— to no national belief—to no living superstition: the mob marvelled what they meant, and the learned had little to say.
Some kind and clever friend perceived this public apathy, and endeavoured to supply a stimulus in the Morning Post. He classed the "Jupiter and Juno" with the high historical works, and claimed for Barry a large portion of the genius necessary for elevating British art. Of the great artists of Italy he says justly, " Poetry warmed their imagination; history informed them of facts, and philosophy taught them causes; they felt the uses derived from these studies, and knew that a more thorough knowledge only enables a man to think more justly. Possessed of great natural powers, and having thus cultivated them, they did not fearfully hesitate and observe only through the medium of another man's prejudices, but boldly and independently exerted their own faculties—they made use of their own eyes to see—their own imaginations to conceive with, and were regulated by their own informed judgments—and fixed upon a ground so firm, their works were sublime, just, and original." But those great painters did one thing and Barry did another. They, like the Greeks before them, set their imaginations to work upon subjects for which there was a market—Religion called art to her aid, and the most eloquent of Romish divines never illustrated her legends with the spirit and grandeur of this auxiliary. To this view of the subject, Barry obstinately shut his eyes, and fared accordingly. Those who disliked his " Jupiter and Juno," dwelt upon incorrect drawing and defective colouring. In a work appealing more directly to the public feeling, a work of half the talent would have obtained high praise.
The "Adam and Eve," which he painted in Italy, and finished in London, could not be objected to on