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Exploratory drawing: building a tableau

Weekend-long practical course

Short courses

  • 27 January 2018, 10.30am — 5.30pm
  • 28 January 2018, 10.30am — 5.30pm
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Bernard Baron after William Hogarth, Marriage-A-la-Mode, Plate III, The Inspection, engraving published 1745.

Purchased from the artist’s widow, 1787.. Photo © Royal Academy of Arts, London..

The RA’s historic Life Room will be transformed into an elaborate tableau using theatrical props, costumes, drapes and life models for this experimental drawing course.

Tableau - a group of models or motionless figures representing a scene from a story or from history.
Oxford English Dictionary

The history of western art has long focused on the fundamental pictorial device of the tableau, the arranged presentation of models in costume with the artist as temporary viewer.

In the 1730s, the English painter and engraver William Hogarth invented and popularised the use of a sequence of anecdotal tableau scenarios intended to satirise social abuses, often with lurid melodrama. He wrote of his work at the time:

“I have endeavoured to treat my subjects as a dramatic writer: my picture is my stage, and men and women my players.”

An example of this approach to painting is in Hogarth’s series Marriage A-la-Mode, painted between 1743-1745, which comprises of six images depicting a pointed skewering of upper class society in the 18th century.

The aim of this intense two-day workshop is to make a series of drawings based on Hogarth’s The Inspection, painting number three in Marriage A-la-Mode. Live models in period costume will be used to physically re-stage Hogarth’s composition using the historic Life Room in the RA Schools as a backdrop. A set will be constructed with props and objects that closely mirror those in the original painting. This three-dimensional re-enactment will afford the opportunity to explore the painting’s composition “in the round”.

This course has been sponsored in kind by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

  • 27 January 2018, 10.30am — 5.30pm
  • 28 January 2018, 10.30am — 5.30pm

The Life Room, RA Schools, Piccadilly

£420. Includes all materials, lunch, and wine reception at the end of the second day.