Saumarez Smith, C: The Company of Artists

the Origins of the Royal Academy of Arts in London

The intriguing history of the foundation of the Royal Academy of Arts.


Charles Saumarez Smith is former director of the National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery. He is currently Secretary of the Royal Academy. His previous publications include The Building of Castle Howard (1990), The Rise of Design: Design and the Domestic Interior in England (1993), The National Portrait Gallery (1997) and The National Gallery: A Short History (2009).

[An] illuminating account of the early beginnings of the RA; this inspired, wholly unique and extremely idiosyncratic institution. -- Mariella Frostrup An enthralling behind-the-scenes look at the egos, the politics and the good and bad intentions that lead to the founding of one of our most enduring cultural establishments. -- Loyd Grossman In Charles Saumarez Smith's blow-by-blow account of the early days of the Royal Academy, I recognise the Academy as it still is today. The big egos. How to teach art. The status of drawing. Whether or not art stems from genius, ambition or sheer hard work. Everything which is still important and good about the Royal Academy was discussed and debated in those first few weeks. -- Christopher Le Brun PRA, President, Royal Academy of Arts Saumarez Smith writes with verve and enthusiasm, evoking the period with curious anecdotes and pungent quotations. For anyone interested in the RA's history, this is essential reading -- Giles Waterfield RA Magazine It is to the art community what The First Three Minutes is to the science world. Finch's Quarterly Review In this short, neat, thorough and readable history, Charles Saumarez Smith, the current secretary and chief executive of the RA, has attempted to identify [the Royal Academy's] unique quality... Saumarez Smith is smitten, as you will be after reading this touching and passionate love letter. -- Brian Appleyard Literary Review The book is best on the politics and exploded stuffiness of an institution that stands for both creativity and the Establishment. It is well told and beautifully drawn - and it seems that the best way to live in the titular fellowship is to open a bottle of something strong. Monacle Saumarez Smith...turns a dry-as-dust subject, the creation of a bureaucratic organisation, into a lively and good-humoured study of how to get things done amid the machinations of committee politics and delicate creative temperaments. Spectator The Royal Academy grew out of an argument between fractious artists. In this handsome volume, its current director reconstructs the debate about British art and its institutions that led George III to patronise the project in 1768. Presented as a day-by-day account, it counterpoints humorous observation with serious insight into the artistic politics of Georgian London. Apollo Saumarez Smith balances the detailed research, with which the book abounds, with writing using a pleasantly light touch...It's the people who illuminate the pages and Saumarez Smith is a master of the quick sketch portrait.As a result the characters in this relatively short episode in the academy's history are given the breath of life. Museums Journal With a cast of characters which includes Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough and William Chambers (to name but a few), and with appearances by Samuel Johnson and Horace Walpole (whose commentary on the Academy's first exhibitions is a welcome addition to the book), The Company of Artists will appeal to anyone with even a passing interest in 18th century British art. History in an Hour If the prospectus might have seemed narrow, the result is art-politically momentous:bringing the then so vividly to life throws a spotlight on our - and the Academy's - now. The Jackdaw Charles' academic research is sharp, enthralling and erudite. He has left no stone unturned in retelling the story of how the Royal Academy came to be the pinnacle of artistic excellence, as we know it today. His writing is beautifully fluid and his interweaving of quotations and letters between the men is sublime. This book will prove a perfect resource for anyone interested in the background of this most intriguing of Britain's artistic institutions. Nirvana Express
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Einband gebundene Ausgabe
Seitenzahl 192
Erscheinungsdatum 15.10.2012
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-1-4081-8210-9
Verlag Bloomsbury Academic
Maße (L/B/H) 26/19.8/2.4 cm
Gewicht 870 g
Abbildungen col. Illustrations.
Buch (gebundene Ausgabe, Englisch)
Buch (gebundene Ausgabe, Englisch)
Fr. 31.90
Fr. 31.90
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