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The third painting in the series 'The Progress of Human Knowledge and Culture' by James Barry – in three panels – was the backdrop to the Society's meetings and premium distribution ceremonies, for which the Great Room had been designed. It is the first of the sequence's long paintings, spanning three canvases in total, and was designed to show not only athletic prowess, but also the benefits to society when such feats are celebrated.
Royal Society of Arts
oil on canvas
H 360 x W 1308 cm
commissioned for the Society's Meeting Room, c.1777