(b Dublin, ?1732; d London, 29 May 1784).
Irish landscape painter in oils and watercolour. In 1763 he moved to London, where he quickly made a reputation and became a foundation member of the Royal Academy in 1768. Although he sometimes imitated the classical manner of his rival Richard Wilson (who described Barret's foliage as ‘spinach and eggs’), he was primarily a painter of topographical views. His most famous work in his day was a panorama of the Lake District painted in distemper on the walls of a room at Norbury Park in Surrey (c.1780; in situ). Many other pictures by him are still in stately home collections. In spite of his success with aristocratic clients, Barrett had an improvident and quarrelsome nature and became bankrupt. He had three painter sons, GeorgeJun., James, and Joseph, and his daughter Mary was a miniaturist.