19 September — 13 December 2015
★★★★★ - Guardian ★★★★★ - Times ★★★★★ - Telegraph
Major artist and cultural phenomenon Ai Weiwei takes over our main galleries with brave, provocative and visionary works. Advance booking is strongly recommended. Friends of the RA go free.
Join us for late night openings of Ai Weiwei
Tickets to Ai Weiwei will be available until midnight on selected Saturdays. On the final weekend, for the first time in the RA's history, the galleries will be open for 56 hours.
24 October 2015 — 31 January 2016
★★★★★ - Guardian
An eccentric and distinctive portraitist, Liotard's work conjures up the magnificence and cultural curiosity of the age in vividly lifelike detail.
white: a project by Edmund de Waal
Thursdays – Sundays, until 3 January 2016
This unique project in the RA Library and Print Room is an exploration of the colour white and the impact that white objects have on their surroundings; an interweaving of words and books with sculpture, paintings and photographs.
Between the Land and the Sea: inside the show
Barbara Rae RA introduces our latest Art Sales range, currently on display in the Keepers’ House.
My studio life: Chris Wilkinson RA
The architect’s sketchbooks are currently on display at the RA. We visited him at his practice to find out why, in an age of computers, drawing is still at the centre of what he does.
10 minutes with… Phyllida Barlow RA
As she turns her focus to a group of small sculptures, Phyllida Barlow tells us what music inspires her and why she loves Picasso.
Wartime water lilies
How Monet created his garden at Giverny
Curator Ann Dumas sets the scene for our major exhibition of garden painters, revealing how Monet’s passion for plants pushed the boundaries of his art.
Ai Weiwei's rules for life and art
"The art always wins. Anything can happen to me, but the art will stay." With a promise never to be silenced, China’s most famous artist has become known for his pithy, poetic words on freedom and creativity. We share some of his most memorable Weiwei-isms.
Jean-Etienne Liotard: inside the show
In this video series, curator MaryAnne Stevens takes us inside the Sackler Wing exhibition devoted to the 18th century Swiss master, Jean-Etienne Liotard, and picks out a few highlights.
Gift membership is the perfect gift for art lovers
Friends of the RA can enjoy free entry to all our exhibitions, from 'Ai Weiwei' to 'Painting the Modern Garden'. They can also bring a guest in for free, have all day access to the Keeper’s House café, restaurant, bar and garden and much, much more. Christmas gift membership is available until 14 December.
There is only one rule for aspiring artists. That is, only become one if you have absolutely no choice, if your drive is so strong that nothing else could be contemplated. If you think in terms of worldly success, forget it. The rewards are in the doing and in the breadth of art.
Tess Jaray RA
David Remfry RA on his portraits of people and dogs
There’s a personal story behind every relationship between a dog and its owner. These stories have long fascinated David Remfry RA, who has been painting his friends and New York neighbours with their pets for the past 10 years.
Japanese woodblock printing with Rebecca Salter RA
Led by Rebecca Salter, internationally renowned painter and printmaker and Royal Academician, this two-day practical workshop – appropriate for beginner, and intermediate levels – will introduce the remarkable art and craft of traditional Japanese woodblock printing.
Artist of the month: November 2015
Andrea Appiani (1754 – 1817)
Andrea Appiani is Lombardy’s most accomplished and well-known neoclassical painter, distinguished particularly in his production of frescoes.
Object of the month: November 2015
Bill Jacklin RA, 'Ice Rink, 3pm' (1992)
Through his paintings, drawings and engravings, Bill Jacklin RA has obsessively pursued an exploration of light and darkness in all its possible forms.
Six of the best: artist-gardeners
In 2016, the Royal Academy explores the influence that gardens exerted on the evolution of art from the 1860s to the 1920s. Here we pick out six of the greatest artist-gardeners.
Grand masters: Hawksmoor vs Wren
From a contemporary perspective, does Nicholas Hawksmoor outshine his master, Christopher Wren? Owen Hopkins reassesses two geniuses of British Baroque architecture.
The moment just before a work is finished, it’s finished. You want a bit of nervous twitching, a bit of tension, in the sculpture.
Richard Wilson RA
Ai Weiwei: 13 works to know
Ai Weiwei has worked in everything from paint to readymades. As our landmark exhibition examines work from 1993 up to the present day, we take a look at some of the key works to know from across Ai’s career.
Thinking through drawing: Chris Wilkinson
3 September 2015 — 14 February 2016
Giving a unique insight into the mind of an architect, the RA presents the personal sketchbooks of Chris Wilkinson RA.
Our Christmas gift package
This perfect Christmas gift includes two tickets to the landmark exhibition 'Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse' – which opens at the RA on the 30 January 2016 – as well as the beautifully illustrated book which accompanies this magnificent show.
Chantal Joffe RA delights in the photographs of Julia Margaret Cameron
As two new shows celebrate the 200th anniversary of Julia Margaret Cameron, painter Chantal Joffe RA explains why her photographs interest and inspire her.
Architecture is a public art, and is never really finished. When a building is completed it’s the beginning of its life – a life which really only starts when people inhabit and breathe life into it. Buildings change, evolve and grow.
Alan Stanton RA
Lessons in life, love and art from Marina Abramovic
"Never fall in love with another artist," and, "You can't make good work if you're happy," are two things Marina Abramovic taught students of the RA Schools. Watch her in conversation with Bryan Appleyard.
Art Sales at the RA
For the new Art Sales range, Barbara Rae RA presents 'Between the Land and the Sea', works on paper by selected Royal Academicians, including Hughie O’Donoghue, Jock McFadyen, and Elizabeth Blackadder, alongside a number of invited Scottish artists.
Our pick of this week’s art events: 20 – 26 November
From the artists of the Japanese Mono-ha movement in London, to an imaginary museum in Liverpool, we bring you the must-see shows opening this week.
From Monet to Hockney: 2016 at the Royal Academy
The Royal Academy’s Artistic Director Tim Marlow explains what’s in store in for the next year as we launch our 2016 exhibition programme.
Combined ticket offer
Make more of your visit to the RA and see Liotard and Ai Weiwei for just £21. Book a combined ticket package so you can see both exhibitions on the same visit, saving £5.
Listen to RA Podcasts
From short stories read by leading novelists to artists and experts in conversation, catch up on events at the RA with our podcasts.
History uncovered: Britain’s first arts organisation
A review of our Collection has turned up a vital historical document, the Royal charter of the Society of Artists. Get the inside story from our archivist Mark Pomeroy.
Jean-Etienne Liotard: pastel pioneer
The Swiss artist Jean-Etienne Liotard was one of the great portraitists of the Enlightenment. We introduce the idiosyncratic Orientalist whose travels through the courts of Europe and beyond resulted in works of exceptional delicacy.
Don’t worry what other people say about your work. Be free. That’s what art is about.
Cornelia Parker RA
Inside the Academy
Tumblr: From the RA
Explore discoveries from the RA's Collections
We're on a quest to digitise 10,000 items from the Royal Academy of Arts' vast collections. Visit our Tumblr to discover drawings, sketches, prints, books, oddities and wonders, all revealed by RA staff and a team of volunteers.
Explore our Collection
The Royal Academy Collections include paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, historic books, (i.e. published before 1921), archives, historic photographs and plaster casts.
Bob and Roberta Smith RA at the William Morris Gallery
Bob and Roberta Smith’s exhibition of his recent campaigning art finds a natural home at the London gallery dedicated to designer and radical socialist William Morris.
Daniel Maclise: The Waterloo Cartoon
2 September 2015 — 3 January 2016
★★★★ - Telegraph
To coincide with the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo a rarely exhibited treasure of the RA’s Collection, the Daniel Maclise cartoon, The Meeting of Wellington and Blücher after the Battle of Waterloo, will be on display after spending decades in storage.
Push Up Wood Figure
Take home your very own Ai Weiwei! This push up wooden figure has been developed exclusively between the RA and the man himself. It features Ai Weiwei standing on top of a Han Dynasty urn printed with one of his trademark "ism's", and is inspired by his artwork S.A.C.R.E.D.
Ai of the tiger
Sam Phillips meets Ai Weiwei in his Beijing studio
Fearless and uncompromising, Ai Weiwei’s art challenges cultural values, confronts injustices and pushes materials to their limit. Sam Phillips talks to the artist about his show at the RA, which he was not expecting to be able to attend.
You brought Ai Weiwei’s Tree to London
Thank you to our 1,300 Kickstarter backers who contributed £123,000 to bring Ai Weiwei's monumental installation to our courtyard.
Edmund de Waal on his new project ‘white’
This autumn, the RA Library and Print Room will host a project by Edmund de Waal: an exploration of the colour white. Here, he takes us through some of the objects on display.
In the studio with Sonia Lawson RA
Despite various challenges, including a leaking roof, Sonia Lawson RA is keen to return to her garden studio, says Fiona Maddocks.
Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse
30 January — 20 April 2016
Using the work of Monet as a starting point, this landmark exhibition examines the role gardens played in the evolution of art from the early 1860s through to the 1920s.
Very rarely as an artist do you get that real ecstasy of painting – you are always chasing it.
Chantal Joffe RA
From the archive
Damien Hirst in conversation with John Hoyland RA
This October, Damien Hirst has opened Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall with a show of paintings by the late John Hoyland RA. In this interview from 2009, Hoyland told Hirst about meeting Francis Bacon, and what it is to be a painter.
Become a Friend of the RA
Become a Friend of the RA today and enjoy a year of free entry to our exhibitions, including Ai Weiwei and Painting the Modern Garden. Friends can bring a family guest for free, enjoy all day access to the Keeper’s House and much more.
Explore Daniel Maclise RA's cartoon of the Battle of Waterloo
To coincide with the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo we've created an interactive image of Maclise's 13-metre wide commemorative cartoon. Our curators and conservators reveal some of the stories, details and secrets hidden within the work.
Join the club
The Academicians’ Room in the Keeper’s House began life in 1883, becoming the favourite haunt of the Academy’s artists as a private members club. The room has entered a new phase in its rich history, and has reopened with a fresh new look by the renowned Martin Brudnizki Design Studio. Members can expect artworks by Royal Academicians on display, an exceptional food menu and an exciting programme of events, including an artist-led Salon Series.
Free RA Tours
Discover the art, architecture and history of the RA in these special, one-hour tours that include the historic John Madejski Fine Rooms.
Thomas Heatherwick RA: “Inspiration is a cliché”
Thomas Heatherwick RA delights in discovering his ideas don’t work – it’s all part of a process of elimination that results in his extraordinary designs, as Sam Phillips finds out.
Hard-won images: Frank Auerbach and Alberto Giacometti
The intensely wrought paintings of Frank Auerbach find their match in Giacometti’s sculptures, as two shows reveal, says Simon Wilson.
Ai Weiwei’s alternative vision for Beijing’s buildings
With a display on Beijing’s Caochangdi in our Architecture Space, our curator discusses the Ai Weiwei-designed buildings of this artists’ region, and their place in a rapidly developing city.
The act of drawing is at the heart of everything I do. It is the most intimate of processes and at its best reveals both the hand and mind of the artist to the viewer.
Rebecca Salter RA
Learn from experts and artists
Whether you’re a writer, sketcher, art enthusiast or architecture buff, discover our new range of courses and classes.
More than meets the eye: Julian Barnes on art
In his new book of essays, Julian Barnes offers insightful lessons in how to look at – and read about – art.
Inside the Academy
Redeveloping the Royal Academy
For nearly 250 years, the RA has been a place to make, exhibit and debate art. For our anniversary in 2018 we are opening up the RA as never before, transforming our historic buildings – and inviting Friends and visitors old and new to celebrate with us.
Inside the Academy
The RA Schools
A school of contemporary fine art, right at the heart of the RA.
Architecture is like writing. You have to edit it over and over so it looks effortless.
Zaha Hadid RA
In the neighbourhood: Exploring Ai Weiwei’s ‘village’ in Beijing
Behind the scenes
A vibrant arts quarter has grown up around Ai Weiwei’s home and studio in Beijing. Our curator Adrian Locke explores the area, and finds himself on a journey into the city’s past.
Looking for an art-lover’s gift?
Order bespoke art prints, canvases and framed reproductions from our Collection online.
Friends of the RA
RA Art Tours Worldwide
These expert-led small-group tours, created by travel specialists Cox & Kings, focus on the art, architecture and archaeology of some of the world’s most fascinating destinations.