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Academy engraving Ravenet John Mortimer

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An Academy


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Original antique print


Published by Boydell in 1771. This engraving was published as frontispiece to Vol. 2 of Boydell's Sculptura Britannica, a grand commercial work consisting of 'A Collection of Prints, Engraved from the most Capital paintings in England'. It is a powerful image of the life class in which students would apply their knowledge of the antique and of anatomy. It is also, in effect, a manifesto for the artists of the Society of Artists, whose ranks were seriously depleted when the group including Reynolds left to become the first Royal Academicians in 1768. Mortimer was a talented and productive artist, and an active member of the Society of Artists, becoming vice-president in 1770 and president in 1774. When the Royal Academy was established, the Society of Artists lost its use of the studio equipment in the St Martin's Lane Academy, including Hunter's ecorche, which was taken to the new Royal Academy even before its foundation. Mortimer was involved in setting up a competing academy for the Society, in Maiden Lane, in 1769. The grand and imaginary space in which Mortimer set his life class, represents his unrealistic expectations for the Society. Three small tears in left hand margin repaired by tape. Faint crease across bottom left hand corner. Very faint foxing visible only in margins.

Additional Information

artist Simon Francois Ravenet (1706-1774) after John Mortimer (1741-1779)
method Line engraving
date 1771
size 515mm by 430mm (platemark)
SKU DC1505