The Powerscourt Waterfall
The waterfall was a famous beauty spot on the estate of Viscount Powerscourt, on the fringes of the Wicklow mountains south of Dublin. As a young man in the early 1760s, the Irish-born Barret painted a number of views for the Viscount on his estate which made his reputation as a landscapist of outstanding promise. He travelled to England in 1763 and exhibited a version of this subject at the Society of Artists in London in 1764. The present canvas, one of several known autograph versions, was stated to have been painted for the writer and politician Edmund Burke whose patronage played an important part in establishing Barret successfully in England.