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    Sale 7579

    The Irish Sale

    8 May 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 19

    George Barret, R.A. (1728 or 1732-1784)

    A rocky wooded river landscape with a waterfall and figures and cattle on the banks

    Price Realised  


    George Barret, R.A. (1728 or 1732-1784)
    A rocky wooded river landscape with a waterfall and figures and cattle on the banks
    oil on canvas
    39 x 54 in. (99.1 x 137.2 cm.)
    in a carved and gilded Irish frame

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    George Barret was perhaps the most celebrated Irish landscape painter of the latter half of the eighteenth century. This landscape is characteristic of Barret's work before he left Ireland to work in London in 1763. In terms of subject and composition it shows the influence of the ideas of Edmund Burke, whom Barret is thought likely to have met while Burke was an undergraduate at Trinity College Dublin. Burke's seminal essay A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, was first published in 1757 and Barret absorbed many of his ideas, reflecting them in his approach to landscape painting. Burke was also said to have introduced Barret to the 2nd Viscount Powerscourt for whom he worked early in his career in the Powerscourt demesne, co. Wicklow, which includes some of the most romantic reaches of the Dargle valley and the famous waterfall itself. Barret was to paint some of his most celebrated landscapes for Viscount Powerscourt including the View of Powerscourt House under the Sugar Loaf Mountain (British Art Center, Yale) and his View of Powerscourt Waterfall (National Gallery Ireland) as well as other views on the Dargle river. The present landscape with its rocky cliffs and cascading waterfalls on the far back of the river, which dwarf the figures and cattle below, is reminiscent of Barret's views of the Dargle in both its dramatic topography and feeling.

    Special Notice

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    The present owners' grandfather, who is believed to have acquired it in the 1950s, and by inheritance.

    Pre-Lot Text



    Belfast, Ulster Museum and Art Gallery, Pictures from Ulster Houses, 1961, no. 73.
    Dublin, National Gallery, on loan circa 1975-1992, exhibited at the National Gallery and at Malahide Castle.
    Belfast, Ulster Museum, on loan circa 1992-1998.
    Enniskillen, National Trust, Castle Coole, on loan circa 2003 -2007.