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Etching - The Hall at the Royal Academy, Somerset House

The Hall at the Royal Academy, Somerset House

  • Object:

    Etching

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1810 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Etching, ink on paper, hand-coloured with watercolour

  • Museum number:

    E.601-1903

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 120, The Wolfson Galleries, case 17, shelf DR3

Object Type
This print is an etching, which uses the action of acid to create lines on a metal printing plate. After it was printed another person coloured it by hand. It was published in a periodical called The Repository of Arts in May 1810 to illustrate an article on the Royal Academy of Arts.

Subjects Depicted
This print shows the entrance hall at Somerset House on London's Strand, which in 1810 housed the Royal Academy. The hall contains plaster casts of antique sculptures that include the famous Apollo Belvedere, the Farnese Hercules and the Furietti Centaurs. A student, probably from the Royal Academy Schools, is shown drawing one of the sculptures.

From its foundation in 1768, the Royal Academy offered the most prestigious exhibition space in London. It held an Annual Exhibition of Paintings, Sculpture, and Designs, which it decreed 'shall be open to all Artists of distinguished merit'. Aspiring artists submitted their works, and a selection was chosen by the exhibition committee. So many pictures were submitted, they had to be hung almost from floor to ceiling and with the frames touching each other.

There was great interest also in visiting the Annual Exhibitions at the Royal Academy. The Exhibition became an event in the social calendar and invitations to the Private View were in great demand.

Physical description

Etching

Place of Origin

London (made)

Date

1810 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Etching, ink on paper, hand-coloured with watercolour

Dimensions

Height: 12.5 cm paper, Width: 17.5 cm

Object history note

Plate 29 from 'The Repository of Arts, Literature, Commerce, Manufactures, Fashions and Politics', May 1810 vol III, no 17. By an unidentified artist working in London

Descriptive line

The Hall at the Royal Academy, Somerset House

Labels and date

British Galleries:
From its foundation in 1768 the Royal Academy was the most prestigious exhibition space in London. This view shows the entrance hall at Somerset House with plaster casts of famous antique sculptures including the Apollo Belvedere and the Farnese Hercules. [27/03/2003]

Production Note

Dated 1810.

Materials

Printing ink

Techniques

Etching

Categories

Prints; Illustration

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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