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George Barret, R.A. (Dublin 1728/1732-1784 London)
George Barret, R.A. (Dublin 1728/1732-1784 London)

A classical landscape with fishermen and a washerwoman, a hilltop villa and mountains beyond

Details
George Barret, R.A. (Dublin 1728/1732-1784 London)
A classical landscape with fishermen and a washerwoman, a hilltop villa and mountains beyond
oil on canvas
35 x 44 in. (88.9 x 111.8 cm.)
Provenance
Presumably acquired by a member of the Kirkpatrick family in the 19th Century.
Mr and Mrs Bruce Bedin; Christie's, Donacomper, Celbridge, Co. Kildare, 6 July 1977, lot 494.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 20 November 1978, lot 320.
Exhibited
Dublin, Royal Hibernian Academy, Winter Exhibition of Old Masters, 1902-3 (lent by G.R. Kirkpatrick).

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Miriam Winson-Alio
Miriam Winson-Alio

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Lot Essay

George Barret was perhaps the most celebrated Irish landscape painter of the latter half of the 18th 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 its 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.

Donacomper, Celbridge, Co. Kildare belonged to the Kirkpatrick family and was extensively remodelled in Tudor Revival style by William Kirkpatrick in circa 1835. After the death of Sir Ivone Kirkpatrick, the diplomatist, it was sold to Bruce Bredin, who sold the house to Brendan McGonnell in 1977.

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