A copy of the RA Laws as relating to the Schools, annotated and with sketches by Alma-Tadema, c. 1880
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema RA (1836 - 1912)
RA Collection: Art
This printed copy of the Laws of the Royal Academy Schools features Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s sketches of fellow RA Committee members as well as annotations to the text. Alma-Tadema was elected a Royal Academician in June 1879 and was soon closely involved in the life of the institution. He was a member of Council from 1880-82, served as Visitor in the Life School and School of Painting from 1879 and, at the same time, also joined a committee that had been set up in 1878 to 'inquire into and report on the workings of the Schools' (Annual Report 1879, p. 17). The number of sketches in this volume suggests that he might have found the committee meetings a little dull.
The Academicians represented here include the President Lord Leighton (depicted with a halo), the architects George Edmund Street and Sir Richard Norman Shaw and two successive Keepers of the Royal Academy Schools, F.R. Pickersgill and Philip Hermogenes Calderon. In addition to these portrait sketches are details of hands, legs, ears and items observed in the meeting room.
Many of the same RAs were frequent Visitors (teachers) in the Schools and their comments for each year can be found in the Annual Reports. Disappointingly, Alma-Tadema's comment on his first year as a Visitor was merely that he found 'the heating pipes producing a very offensive smell' (Annual Report 1879, p. 37). A year later he made the suggestion that in the Painting School it 'should be tried placing the ladies and gentlemen students in separate rooms' (Annual Report 1880, p. 33).
Purchased with the assistance of the Ellerman Fund and Arts Council England/ Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund www.vam.ac.uk/purchasegrantfund
274 mm x 217 mm
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