Samuel Madden was an enlightened clergyman who established a series of prizes at Trinity College, Dublin, to reward agricultural and artistic enterprise, designed an important landscape garden on the shores of Lough Erne, founded the Dublin (later Royal) Society, and left an important collection of 17th- and 18th-century Italian pictures to Trinity College. He would almost certainly have known Barret through the Dublin Society before Barret left for England in 1763.
The present works reveal Barret's keen interest in engravings: they are based on prints after two paintings by Claude Lorrain, Landscape with a rural dance, which entered the collection of the Duke of Westminster in the early 19th century and has been on loan for many years at the National Gallery of Northern Ireland, Belfast; and Landscape with Argus guarding Io, purchased by the first Earl of Leicester and still at Holkham (see M. Roethlisberger, Claude Lorrain: The Paintings, Critical Catalogue, New Haven, 1961, pp. 471-472, no. 208; pp. 240-241, no. 86, fig. 164.).