Saturday, March 3, 2018

European Art Academies (Four Centuries)

Pier Francesco Alberti
Art Academy in Rome
ca. 1600-1630
British Museum

"The first art academies appeared in Italy at the time of the Renaissance.  They were groupings of artists whose aim was to improve their social and professional standing, as well as to provide teaching.  To this end they sought where possible to have a royal or princely patron.  Previously, painters and sculptors had been organised in guilds, and were considered mere artisans or craftsmen."

"Academies became widespread by the seventeenth century, when they also began to organise group exhibitions of their members' work.  This was a crucial innovation, since for the first time it provided a market place, and began to some extent to free artists from the restrictions of direct royal, church, or private patronage.  The most powerful of the academies was the French Académie Royale de Peinture et Sculpture, established in 1648 and housed in the Palais du Louvre in Paris.  The Académie began to hold exhibitions in 1663 and opened these to the public from 1673.  After the French Revolution the name was changed to Académie des Beaux-Arts.  The London Royal Academy was founded in 1768 with Joshua Reynolds as its first president."

"By the mid nineteenth century the academies had become highly conservative and by their monopoly on major exhibitions resisted the rising tide of innovation.  The result was that alternative exhibiting societies were established and private commercial galleries began to appear.  The academies were bypassed, and the term "academic art" gained the negative connotation of conservative or old-fashioned."

– text from the Tate Gallery in London

Martin Dichti
Drawing Academy
ca. 1658
British Museum

Simon Fokke after Aart Schouman
The Art Academy at the Hague
British Museum

David Allan
Interior of Glasgow Academy
ca. 1780-95
British Museum

Anonymous English artist
View of the Antique School at the Royal Academy, London
(Art Master seen from behind, students drawing from casts)
ca. 1790
drawing, watercolor
British Museum

Johann Jacobé after Martin Ferdinand Quadal
The Life Room of the Vienna Academy
British Museum

Thomas Rowlandson
A Dutch Academy (satirical print)
hand-colored etching
British Museum

Jacques Kuyper after Pieter Barbiers the Younger
Drawing Room of the Felix Meritis Society in Amsterdam
etching, engraving
British Museum

William Behnes
Pupils at Art Academy painting large canvases
ca. 1810-30
British Museum

George Cruikshank
George Cruikshank in the Royal Academy, studying
(students drawing from cast of an antique Venus)
before 1865
British Museum

Anonymous printmaker after Johan Joseph Zoffany
Life School at the Royal Academy, London
wood-engraving from The Graphic
British Museum

Samuel Halpert
Life Drawing Class at L'Atelier Bonnat, Paris
British Museum

Poul Christiansen
Art School in Copenhagen
British Museum

Terry Frost
Camberwell students drawing from casts, London
ca. 1947-49
British Museum