This spectacular image was presented to me by an aesthete reader. Though He has been reading for just a bit here at Little Augury- I sense a kindred spirit. This picture appeared with the note- I think you will appreciate this of all things-
Yes, and there will be others intrigued by the beauty of this ink drawing on paper. "There's a tiny signature on the pistol down below the primer, hard to make out in the last shot, but I think you should be able to see it ..Sadly I don't have many details-except that it’s by 'Hession,' ink on paper.The drawing was a graduation gift from a favourite Aunt & Beyond that I don't really know much. It seems to be a design that didn't end up being used for any of the promotional materials."
The beauty of the drawing-is unquestionable. The detail- & Yes, my dear reader is incredibly talented in the same area.Looking at the drawing, I am reminded that much of Barry's life revolves around war, violence, the gun- and it's conflict with his life long quest for beauty.
So much of Kubrick's film is a symphony played larghissimo, lamentando-the Duel between Redmond Barry and Lord Bullington is no different. The setting of the duel is a chapel- a "stage" as well. This is the moment where some of the dissatisfaction in Barry falls away. Bullingdon-Barry's stepson is such a failure, a disappointment and a waste- In contrast, Barry the soldier, the practised gentleman-is momentarily redeemed as the illusive better man.
"As the duel begins Bullingdon's second asks, "Mr. Lyndon, do you know the rules?" Barry abides by the highest ideals of the code of the society he has aspired to enter. He declines to fire at Bullingdon after his stepson's pistol accidentally discharges. Lord Bullingdon, a secure member of the dominant class, interprets the rules of the game from his own perspective, and declaring he has not "received satisfaction" refuses to waive his second shot and conclude the duel. He fires again and Barry is maimed and ousted.
The final moments of the film are underscored by the insistently sweet and forward-thrusting piano trio that accompanied Barry's romance with Lady Lyndon and his rise in fortune. The irony here is a source of pathos. Barry exits, maimed, lonely, and baffled. Lady Lyndon hesitates for a second (her gesture is doubled by a bass tremolo) before blankly signing a document that seals Barry's fate. The epilogue tells us that we are all equal in the grave." Michael Klein on the Kubrick