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William Mulready RA, Life drawing of a seated male nude

Life drawing of a seated male nude, ca. 1800?

William Mulready RA (1786 - 1863)

RA Collection: Art

This outline sketch of a seated male nude is probably one of Mulready's drawings from his days as a student at the Royal Academy Schools (from 1800). It is difficult to date with certainty, however, as the artist maintained a great interest in life-drawing throughout his life. An entry in the diary of Richard Redgrave notes; ' I believe Mulready is seventy-three, and yet there he is, hard at work at the 'Life', like any young student. He is not only attending as Visitor, and drawing at the Royal Academy, but he is one of a party who meet three times a week at Ansdell's for studying from the life'.

William Mulready enrolled as a student at the Royal Academy Schools in 1800 and it is possible that he carried out some of these drawings in the life class there. The drawings in this group are probably early in date and certainly bear some resemblance to examples of Mulready's student drawings in the V&A collection.

The young artist's talent as a draughtsman was acknowledged in 1806 when he was awarded the Academy's Silver Medal. Joseph Farington noted at the time that 'Mulready is reckoned to draw the best, but sets Himself high upon it as if He had done His business'. Mulready retained a great enthusiasm for life-drawing throughout his career, particularly from the 1840s onwards and , after his death, examples of these were purchased for the Royal Academy Schools as examples.

Related Works: There is a large collection of life studies and other drawings by Mulready in the V&A Museum.

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Object details

Life drawing of a seated male nude
William Mulready RA (1786 - 1863)
ca. 1800?
Object type
Black chalk on brown laid paper

384 mm x 270 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Bequeathed by Gilbert Bakewell Stretton 1949
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