The Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture


The Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture

Work of art has had a significant impact on the lives of many people since time in memorial, as a result some people took it upon themselves to make sure that some of the arts of work were preserved for other people to also have the chance to admire their beauty later on, some prominent people in the past took it upon themselves to help young and aspiring artist sharpen their skills and even become great artist later on.


One of the prominent people who appreciated art and wanted to see the arts grow was King Louis IV. In the year 1664, King Louis established an academy where students would have the opportunity to be taught on various skills on how to make diverse works of art. The academy known as the Royal Academy of Painting was set up by the king so as to help students learn about “classical works of antiquity and the Renaissance and in the systematic training of mind and hand.” The king Himself liked work of art especially decorative arts that great painters such as Gian Francesco had to be brought all the way from Italy to work on the Palais du Louvre, which was the official Kings palace (Morral, pg 160).

The Academy had a strict curriculum that was followed to the latter this is because the training in the academy was systematic and involved both the mind and the hands. The students first started by drawing, after which they were introduced to antique sculpture, later on, they were introduced to the live model. After the introduction to the live model, the students were now allowed to work on the sculptures. The students were given the responsibility of “correcting” the sculptures to conform to what they had learned in their studies. Unfortunately, the curriculum or the system that was being used did not give any room for any creativity as the students worked on the sculptures and other paintings as they had been taught (Citizens, pg 160).

In the 19th century, the academy dominated the artistic circles with many of its paintings on display, at the time the academy focused on paintings described as the Academic painting. This type of painting demanded the great display of skills every little aspect of the drawing had to have the “perfect finish.”  The paintings were down to even the minor details such as even a button on a coat, they were paintings that were derived from history, religious text and at times myths (Cullinan, pg 180).

The academic paintings can be attributed to the success of the academy, even though they required such immense attention to even the finer details one complete, the works came out astonishing. One of the great academic paintings produced by the academy was the Birth of Venus, the paintings are so perfect that one can actually mistake it for a photo rather than a drawing (Citizens, pg 160).

Learning was disrupted for some period of time after a disagreement ensued between two groups; the Rubenistes and Poussinites. The Rubenistes were of the opinion that color was more important while the Poussinistes believed that the art of drawing was more dominant that painting.  The leader of the Rubenistes was Eugène Delacroix who had a different opinion from the other group by the name of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (Cullinan, pg 130).


Work of art will forever remain part and parcel of mankind, the style may change but it will still remain work of art. It is only through people like King Louis that work of art can be promoted through the training of aspiring artists. At times an artist may have different opinions on various issues about art even though at times the disagreement may cause a rift among the artist, but at times the disagreements are for the common good of art.


Work Cited

Morrall, Andrew, Melinda Watt, and Cristina Balloffet Carr. English embroidery from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1580-1700: ‘twixt art and nature. New York: Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture; 2008. Print.

Cullinan, Nicholas, and Katharina Schmidt. Twombly and Poussin: Arcadian painters. London: Dulwich Picture Gallery: 2011. Print.

Citizens and Kings: portraits in the age of revolution, 1760-1830. English ed. London: Royal Academy of Arts; 2007. Print.

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