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Fight or Flight: Drawing the animal form

Weekend-long practical course

Short course

  • 2 April 2022, 10.30am — 5.30pm
  • 3 April 2022, 10.30am — 5.30pm
This event has now ended

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Part of our

Francis Bacon: Man and Beast

events programme
Go to exhibition page

Francis Bacon, Study of a Bull (detail), 1991.

Oil, aerosol, paint and dust on canvas. 198 x 147.5 cm. Private collection © The Estate of Francis Bacon.

Inspired by the RA’s forthcoming Francis Bacon exhibition, artist and writer Dr Sarah Simblet will lead a weekend course in celebration of the animal form through drawing, collage and painting.

The RA’s exhibition Francis Bacon: Man and Beast will highlight the artist’s use of animals in his paintings, exploring how Bacon constantly compared and contrasted animal and human figures, partly as an attempt to better understand human nature. Participants on this weekend course will focus on depicting two animals specifically: the horse and the bull.

Sarah, alongside art historian Will Iron, will explore the historical and contemporary representation of these powerful animals and their importance in art – as well as taking a detailed look at their anatomy. Throughout the course, the real, fully-articulated skeleton of a 16-hand horse will be available to draw.

Practical sessions will begin with observational drawing. Then, through richly illustrated art history talks and demonstrations in comparative anatomy, participants will progress to creating playfully inventive and colourful collage, as well as bold mixed-media paintings.

This course is aimed at anyone who is interested in learning more about the anatomy and form of the horse and the bull, and who would enjoy an opportunity to develop both their observational drawing skills and mixed-media experimentation. The course provides a remarkable opportunity to engage with the animal world, understand anatomy and appreciate Bacon’s use of the animal form in a new and exciting way.

Course tutor Dr Sarah Simblet is a fine artist, writer, broadcaster and anatomist, whose work explores the relationship between science, history and art.

Covid-19 update: We are looking forward to welcoming you back in a way that ensures everyone’s safety. Numbers will be limited to allow for social distancing, and we will be following the latest government guidelines. In the event of another national lockdown or enforced closure, we reserve the right to move this event online or to a future date. If you have any questions or concerns, or would like to discuss any accessibility needs, please contact academic.programmes@royalacademy.org.uk.

Minimum age 18.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

  • 2 April 2022, 10.30am — 5.30pm
  • 3 April 2022, 10.30am — 5.30pm

The Clore Learning Centre, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts

£480. Includes all materials.