James Barry

The Judgment of Paris. Verso: Study for the Same Subject

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
James Barry 1741–1806
Graphite and watercolour on paper. Verso: graphite on paper
Support: 275 × 399 mm
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996

Display caption

This study illustrates Barry's method of sketching out a composition. After making an initial rough sketch in black chalk, he has used the brush like a pen to draw over the chalk with loose flowing lines. The result is an image composed of soft grey strokes, varying in length and width. The figure of Paris (on the right) is the most well-defined in the composition. Those of Juno, Minerva and Venus are more worked over with numerous repeated strokes and flourishes of the brush. To give more definition to this group, Barry has finished off with some darker grey strokes, applied quite dryly.

Gallery label, August 2004

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