Living with the Royal Academy: Artistic Ideals and Experiences in England, 1768-1848 offers a range of case studies which consider individual artists' personal, professional and artistic relationships with the Royal Academy during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, bringing together the research of leading historians of British artistic culture during this period. Over its introduction and nine essays, this collection considers the Academy as a lived organism whose most effective role, following its establishment in 1768, was as a reference point towards, around and against which artists operated in their relationships with each other and with artistic practice itself. In so doing, this collection also considers the relationship between Academic ideals and individual practice (as well as lived experience) during this period of art’s increasingly public manifestation at the Academy. Individual artists examined include Joshua Reynolds, Joseph Wright of Derby, Benjamin West and William Etty. Thinking beyond the dichotomy of loyalism and rebellion - and complicating notions of the Academy as a monolithic ossifying institution from which progressive artists would be ’liberated’ in the wake of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood’s emergence in 1848 - this volume investigates the Academy’s varied impact upon the lives, experiences and ideals of its diverse artistic communities.
'… the many fascinating insights offered by Living with the Royal Academy make a useful contribution toward the rewriting of the history of British art during the first century or so of the Royal Academy’s existence.' CAA Reviews
Contents: Introduction: life study: living with the Royal Academy, 1768-1848, Sarah Monks; The Academy quartet: Joshua Reynolds in 1769, Mark Hallett; ’Un peu Gascon’: Dominic Serres and the spectre of alienation, Sarah Monks; Conquering Academy and marketplace: Philippe de Loutherbourg’s Channel crossing, Iain McCalman; ’The eye of delicacy’: Joseph Wright of Derby reviewed, John Bonehill; Venetian secrets: Benjamin West and the contexts of colour at the Royal Academy, Rosie Dias; Thomas Banks and the Society for Constitutional Information, John Barrell; Apocalypse at the Academy: Death on the Pale Horse and the revelation of Benjamin West, Ann Bermingham; William Etty: ’a child of the Royal Academy’, Martin Myrone; By abstraction springs forth ideal beauty? The ’real Academy’ and John Gibson’s Anglo-Roman modernity, Jason Edwards; Bibliography; Index.