We use cookies to improve your experience online. By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies as described in our cookies policy.
George Johann Scharf, Westmacott lecturing at Somerset House in 1830

Westmacott lecturing at Somerset House in 1830

George Johann Scharf (1788 - 1860)

RA Collection: Art

In this scene, Scharf depicted Sir Richard Westmacott delivering one of his lectures on Sculpture at the Royal Academy in the Great Room at Somerset House. The audience - not only students of the RA Schools but also Academicians and guests - are seated in rows facing Westmacott who stands on a platform with a group of antiquities. The room is hung with copies after the Old Masters from the RA Collection including the copy after Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper (above Westmacott), Ruben's Descent from the Cross (opposite) and three scenes after Raphael by James Thornhill (The Healing of the Lame Man, The Death of Ananias and The Blinding of Elymas).

Although the print was published in 1850, according to the title it depicts Westmacott lecturing in 1830. Westmacott was the Academy's second Professor of Sculpture, elected in 1827 after the death of John Flaxman RA. He was expected to give six lectures per year for the sum of sixty pounds. According to the Gentlemen's Magazine these were 'treatises of considerable archaeological research, interspersed with practical remarks of great force and shrewdness and accompanied by admirable drawings’ (GM, vol 201, 1856, 510 - see A Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain 1660-1851 online: http://liberty.henry-moore.org/henrymoore/sculptor/ browserecord.php?-action=browse&-recid=2896&from_list=true&x=19)

The artist, Scharf, was the father of Sir George Scharf who became director of the National Portrait Gallery.

Related works:

There is a drawing for this print in the British Museum collection, Museum No. 1862, 0614.179 (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/ collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=691717&partId=1) dated 1836.

Object details

Westmacott lecturing at Somerset House in 1830
George Johann Scharf (1788 - 1860)
Printed by
Object type
Place of Publication
Chalk style lithotint

200 mm x 316 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Purchased from Unknown in November 1923

Associated works of art

4 results

return to start

Start exploring the RA Collection

read more
  • Explore art works, paint-smeared palettes, scribbled letters and more...
  • Artists and architects have run the RA for 250 years.
    Our Collection is a record of them.
Start exploring