In the school of genius: an introduction to historical life drawing approaches

Weekend-long practical course

Courses and Classes

  • 10 March 2018, 10.30am — 5.30pm
  • 11 March 2018, 10.30am — 5.30pm

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Part of our

From Life

events programme
Go to exhibition page

Unidentified (British?) artist, A Life Class, Early 19th century?.

Oil on canvas. 987 X 1347 X 25 mm.

Explore the traditional teaching methods and historic approaches to drawing, as studied within the RA Schools during the 18th and 19th centuries, in this weekend-long course led by award-winning artist and Head of Fine Art Processes for the RA Schools, Mark Hampson.

“I can recommend nothing better… than that you endeavour to infuse into your works what you learn from the contemplation of the works of others.”
Sir Joshua Reynolds, PRA

Course participants will experience drawing directly from life using models as well as introductions into drawing from the antique and supporting anatomical techniques. Delivered in the RA Schools’ historic life drawing room, the course environment echoes the experiences of generations of Royal Academy students, including such notable Alumni as John Constable RA, William Blake, JMW Turner RA, Edwin Landseer RA, George Stubbs RA and Sir John Everett Millais PRA.

“You must have no dependence on your own Genius. If you have great talents, industry will improve them, If you have modest abilities, industry will supply their deficiency”
Sir Joshua Reynolds, PRA

Led by Mark Hampson, Head of Fine Art Processes for the RA Schools, participants are offered a rare and exclusive opportunity to experience working in the RA Schools. Experience practical tuition intended to be a palpable historic echo of the RA’s creative and practical artistic methodologies. This will include introductions to working from the original antique classical cast, an insight into basic anatomy techniques, and drawing from both male and female life models in the atmospheric and historic setting of the Royal Academy life drawing room. The course will also include a group visit to the From Life exhibition to view relevant works on display from the RA’s historic collection.

Situated at the heart of the Royal Academy campus of galleries and exhibition spaces, the RA Schools is the creative centre of its many activities. Housed in a series of purpose-built 19th-century studios, the Schools offer a unique insight into the attitudes and atmosphere of the working life of an historic art school experience. Central to this is its historic Life Room, resplendent with its collection of antique casts and statues. These were originally purchased by the Academy in the mid-18th century as teaching aids for its students. Today they still function as such, but additionally act as reminders of the artistic lineages that have influenced ever-evolving approaches to art education at the RA for nearly 250 years.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

  • 10 March 2018, 10.30am — 5.30pm
  • 11 March 2018, 10.30am — 5.30pm

The Life Room, Royal Academy Schools

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

Book now