Literature: Katie Campbell, Moon Behind Clouds: An Introduction to the Life and Work of Sir Claude Francis Barry, Jersey 1999, reproduced p.68
Barry’s lifelong exploration of the French Pointillist technique – separating colours into dots which form vibrant tones across the picture surface – make him one of the key exponents of this style in 20th century British Art. In his paintings of the First and Second World Wars, with their trademark searchlights over London, he created a powerful cycle of works, whose poignancy was transformed into joy in his subsequent glorious firework paintings celebrating the end of hostilities.
According to Katie Campbell, ‘Barry deplored British Prudery, declaring: ‘the English…think the nude is indecent, whereas there is nothing indecent about it whatever; the only thing that is indecent is the dirty minds of the people who see the picture….”. There is a directness about Barry’s depiction of the female body. While unashamedly erotic, his nudes are neither coy nor lascivious; they are strong, self-possessed women often gazing directly out of the canvas inviting the spectator to enjoy them.