Happy Birthday James Barry!! Irish painter, born today in 1741, relocated to London in his early 20’s. He studied the masterpieces of Michelangelo and Raphael in Italy, 1766-71 and upon returning to London became a member of the Royal Academy, later named professor of painting. He created historical paintings on a grand scale and is best known for The Progress of Human Culture and Knowledge. This was a huge undertaking, a series of six paintings, to decorate the Great Hall of the Society of Arts (known now as the Royal Society of Arts). This was described by Andrew Graham Dixon as “Britain’s late great answer to the Sistine Chapel. The second in the series "A Grecian Harvest Home" is below. Barry became professor of painting at the Royal Academy but was later expelled from the Academy after a disagreement and died in poverty in 1806.