Bryan Appleyard

Some Capital Painters

The Company of Artists: The Origins of the Royal Academy of Arts in London


Modern Art Press 192pp £25 order from our bookshop

When Joshua Reynolds was offered the presidency of the new Royal Academy in 1768, he first consulted with his close friends, Samuel Johnson and Edmund Burke. From the perspective of the Olympic-plagued, Boris-bothered London of the 21st century, such information is painful. One wonders at the depth of one’s misfortune at not having been alive in London at a time when career advice could be had from Johnson and Burke; or, more important, when one could have watched the foundation of an institution such as the Royal Academy.

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