Johann Zoffany RA, A Life Class at St Martin's Lane Academy

A Life Class at St Martin's Lane Academy, 1761-62

Johann Zoffany RA (1733 - 1810)

RA Collection: Art

On free display in Collection Gallery

The St Martin’s Lane Academy was set up in 1735 under the guidance of William Hogarth (1697–1764) and continued to operate until 1767 when its furnishings and materials were removed to Pall Mall for use in the new Royal Academy Schools.

In the centre foreground is George Michael Moser (1704–1783) who by 1760 was director of this academy. He had been organising life classes in London since the 1730s and went on to be the first Keeper of the RA Schools. Other identified figures include John Malin who is shown reaching into the cupboard, and who later became the porter and occasional model at the RA Schools. To his right is Giuseppe Marchi who travelled from Italy in 1752 to be the studio assistant of Sir Joshua Reynolds. At the back of the room are casts of antique busts and framed life drawings in chalk, both of which would have been present to act as fine exemplars for artists attending this academy.

Object details

A Life Class at St Martin's Lane Academy
Johann Zoffany RA (1733 - 1810)
Object type
Oil on canvas

505 mm x 660 mm x 17 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Given by William Smith 1871

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