Original James Barry etching and engraving.
Very good, strong impression in the completed state, as published in 1808.
This etching records Barry’s intention for the final two panels which he had hoped would be included in his great scheme for the Society of Arts. From the outset of the project, Barry had hoped that the portraits by Reynolds and Gainsborough which hung on opposing walls of the great room might be replaced by works of his own. One was to demonstrate King George performing the enlightened act of securing the independence of the judiciary and the other was to show Queen Charlotte at Windsor “in the superintendence of a scene of domestic education”. These were to take their place in the logical cycle of paintings concerning the development of mankind from a primitive state to one of enlightenment. However, in the end result, Barry was not permitted to replace the portraits by Reynolds and Gainsborough – this original etching is the only surviving evidence of Barry’s intended scheme.
On heavy wove paper with wide margins. Some short nicks at extreme edge of sheet. Some time toning and discolouration to sheet, otherwise generally good original condition.