Barton, suffering from depression, commited suicide in 1931. He shot himself in the head. The following is quoted from his suicide note; I think it speaks for itself.
Quote from Ralph Barton's Suicide Note:
Everyone who has known me and who hears of this will have a different hypothesis to offer, to explain ‘why I did it’. Practically all of these hypotheses will be dramatic and completely wrong. Any sane doctor knows that the reasons for suicide are invariably psychopathological.
Difficulties in life merely precipitate the event and the true suicide type manufactures his own difficulties. I have had few real difficulties. I have had on the contrary an exceptionally glamorous life, as lives go, and I’ve had more than my share of affection and appreciation.
The most charming, intelligent and important people I have known have liked me and the list of my enemies is very flattering to me.
It has prevented me from getting anything like the full value out of my talents and for the past three years has made work a torture to do at all. It has made it impossible for me to enjoy the simple pleasures of life that seem to get other people through.
(Barton, Ralph. Captain Smoking on Deck. Illustraion from Illustraion House Inc.)
I have run from wife to wife, from house to house and from country to country in a ridiculous effort to escape from myself. In doing so, I am very much afraid that I’ve spread a good deal of unhappiness among the people who have loved me.
Yes, this is depressing...although, without Ralph Barton's tortured creative spirit, we might not have had these wonderful works of art for others to enjoy in the years to come.