Royal Academy

The Royal Academy was founded in London in 1768. George III was first approached by William Chambers (1726-96) after he had resigned from the Incorporated Society of Artists along with Richard Wilson, Paul Sandby (1730-1809) and Benjamin West (1728-1820). The Royal Academy was established as a 'well regulated School or Academy of Design, for the use of students in the Arts, and an Annual Exhibition, open to all artists of distinguished merit'. Initial ideas for the Royal Academy were modelled upon the academy in Paris with provision for forty Academicians ( RA) and, in 1768, twenty Associates ( ARA), later increased to thirty. The Academy aimed to offer courses of lectures on painting, architecture, perspective, geometry and anatomy, and professorships were to be established with a library and a collection of casts organised for drawing. The Academy also held Summer Exhibitions, which continue to this day. When the Schools opened in Pall Mall in 1769, Joshua Reynolds gave the inaugural address. Reynolds's Discourses were delivered regularly until 1790. The Academy has been based in various locations. It moved into the east wing of the National Gallery in 1836. The present location, Burlington House, was granted to the Academy in 1867. The importance of the Academy in Ruskin 's time was as the central authority on art.