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The Royal Academy of Arts (one of my favourite Galleries, in London) was founded by George III in 1768. Governed by artists to ‘promote the arts of design’ the Royal Academy was the first institution in Great Britain devoted solely to the promotion of the visual arts and to raising the standing of art, artists and architecture.

Yes, its actually goverened BY ARTISTS! The eighty governing artists – Royal Acadamicians– are all practising painters, sculptors, engravers, printmakers, draughtsmen and architects. On reaching the age of 75 they become Senior Academicians and so form vacancies for Membership. Elections are held annually and new Members are nominated and voted in by existing RAs. All Members are required to bestow an example of work to the Royal Academy before receiving their Diploma signed by the Sovereign, and these works form part of the RA’s Permanent Collection. Interesting huh!

For example, David Hockney (the artist who painted below) is one of these people.

David Hockney RA, Wheat Field near Fridaythorpe, August 2005

David Hockney RA, Wheat Field near Fridaythorpe, August 2005

Anyway, some great stuff on there currently- including a contemporary art exhibition.  Its called

GSK Contemporary and its on 31 Oct 2008 — 19 Jan 2009

In 6 Burlington Gardens, but also run by the RA. Many new artists there, one cool artist exhibiting is

Antony Micallef and here is one of his pieces below…. enjoy!

by........Antony Micallef

by........Antony Micallef

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Paintings come in many forms, today I want you to have a look at this traditional oil painting. Tell me your thoughts! Do you like it? I do.

Landscape and Cattle, ca. 1823 by R.R. Reinagle, R.A. 1775 - 1862

Landscape and Cattle, ca. 1823 by R.R. Reinagle, R.A. 1775 - 1862

A great oil painting by Reinagle, which you can see in the RA in London, probably my most favourite gallery in the world!!

So, it shows some great British scenery, an idyliic rural scene.

Reinagle trained under his father Philip Reinagle RA, and also travelled extensively in Holland and Italy where he studied the masters of the Dutch and Italian Schools. On his return to London he became friendly with John Constable although the rivalry between the two landscape painters possibly contributed to a later souring of their relationship.

Reinagle showed this painting to Constable before it was presented to the Royal Academy but Constable commented that ‘It is such art as I cannot talk about -heartless – vapid – and without interest’.  What a cutting review!!

Constable’s opinion was perhaps somewhat embittered by the fact that he himself was not elected to the Academy for another six years. Reinagle’s picture is skillfully composed and, although influenced by Dutch masters such as Ruisdael, is clearly inspired by the landscapes of Gainsborough as well.

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