Windsor Castle

by Claude Francis Barry

£45,000

DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 36.00 x 32.00 ins 91.44 x 81.28 cms
SIGNATURE: Signed
MEDIUM: Oil on canvas

Catalogue No: 4755 Categories: ,

In this wonderful painting, Claude Francis Barry has created a romantic moonlit view of Windsor Castle. Here, the artist has used separate dots of colour of yellow, blue and brown to create a moody haze of light conjuring up the atmosphere and beauty of a summer’s night in Windsor.

Founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, it has since been the home of 39 monarchs. Today The Queen spends most of her private weekends at the Castle.

Many of Barry’s earliest and later works were of views of Windsor castle as it was a familiar subject and easily saleable. Queen Elizabeth II’s mother, Queen Mary, even bought an etching of the castle by Barry as a present for the then ailing King George V.

Provenance

Acquired from the artist and thence by descent,
Private Collection, United Kingdom

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Biography

Claude Francis Barry came from a wealthy, aristocratic family and sold few of his works during his lifetime, leaving a prodigious body of work in his studio when he died. Barry was educated at Harrow and, against the wishes of his family, followed his inclinations as a painter from the moment he left school. He studied in Newlyn – then a burgeoning centre of painting – and from the age of 23 exhibited at the Royal Academy and later at the Royal Society of British Artists and the Salon des Artistes Français. Indeed, his style was in some ways more aligned to French than to English painting.

Barry was a pacifist; he had spent World War I as an agricultural labourer and at the outbreak of World War II he reluctantly returned from years of living and travelling in France, Italy and Germany to settle in St Ives. There he studied for a time with Stanhope Forbes, and he would have come into contact with other artists working there at the time – among them Dame Laura and Harold Knight, Augustus John, Frank Brangwyn and Alfred East.

Despite being a pacifist, the subject of war clearly inspired some of his best work. He experimented with different styles, most obviously the French Pointillist style of separating colours into spots and using them in conjunction with each other to deliver a more vibrant result. The art historian Katie Campbell wrote that ‘over seven decades of active work Barry’s art never became static or stale. His style evolved constantly, from the early narrative oils through the energetic Vorticist works, from the elegant etchings to the vibrant Pointillist canvases, from the chromatic landscapes to the elemental simplicity of his final works’ (K. Campbell, Moon Behind Clouds: An Introduction to the Life and Work of Sir Claude Francis Barry, Jersey, 1999, p. 32)

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