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Print - The Royal Family at the Royal Academy
  • The Royal Family at the Royal Academy
    Martini, Pietro Antonio, born 1738 - died 1797
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The Royal Family at the Royal Academy

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1788 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Martini, Pietro Antonio, born 1738 - died 1797 (maker)
    Ramberg, Johann Heinrich, born 1763 - died 1840 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Etching, stipple etching and engraving, ink on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Mrs F. B. Haines

  • Museum number:

    E.3648-1923

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 118, The Wolfson Gallery, case WALL

Object Type
This print was made by a combination of techniques: engraving, etching and stipple etching. Engraved lines are made by gouging them into the surface of a flat piece of metal (the 'plate'). The etched lines and stipple marks (dots and short flicks) are produced by biting into the metal with acid. The plate is then inked and pressed onto a sheet of paper, thus transferring the ink held in the lines and marks.

Subject Depicted
This print shows the Royal Family viewing the annual exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts at Somerset House, London, in 1788. George III and Queen Charlotte are shown in the Exhibition Room, surrounded by their numerous children and attendants.

From its foundation in 1768 the Royal Academy was the most prestigious institution in Britain for teaching and exhibiting art. It held an annual exhibition of paintings, sculptures and designs, which it decreed 'shall be open to all Artists of distinguished merit'. Aspiring artists submitted their works, and a selection were chosen by the committee for exhibition. So many pictures were submitted that they had to be hung almost from floor to ceiling and with the frames touching each other. The Exhibition Room at Somerset House shown here was 'undoubtedly at that date the finest gallery for displaying pictures so far built', according to one contemporary commentator.

People
The American-born painter Benjamin West (1738-1820), one of the founder members of the Royal Academy of Arts, can be seen in this print leaning against the wall at the left with some of the younger princes.

Physical description

Print depicting King George III, Queen Charlotte and the Royal Family viewing an exhibition at the Royal Academy.

Place of Origin

London (made)

Date

1788 (made)

Artist/maker

Martini, Pietro Antonio, born 1738 - died 1797 (maker)
Ramberg, Johann Heinrich, born 1763 - died 1840 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Etching, stipple etching and engraving, ink on paper

Marks and inscriptions

The Portraits design'd by P. Ramberg. P. Martini Sculpt.

Dimensions

Height: 36 cm paper, Width: 50 cm paper

Object history note

Portraits probably by John Henry Ramberg (born in Hanover, Germany, 1763, died there in 1840); etched and engraved by Pierre Antoine Martini (born in 1739, died in 1800)
London

Descriptive line

Engraving of the Royal Family at the Royal Academy

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Sir William Chambers' principal achievement as an architect was Somerset House on the Strand in London, begun in 1776. It was built in a style combining Palladian and Neo-classical elements and housed civil servants and learned societies, such as the Royal Academy, which became a major social venue. [27/03/2003]

Production Note

After portraits probably by John Henry Ramberg

Subjects depicted

Royalty; Art galleries; Exhibitions

Categories

Prints; Royalty

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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