Copyright
J. E. (John Evan) Hodgson.

The Royal academy and its members 1768-1830 online

. (page 1 of 35)
Online LibraryJ. E. (John Evan) HodgsonThe Royal academy and its members 1768-1830 → online text (page 1 of 35)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


THE ROYAL ACADEMY AND ITS
MEMBERS







111



THE ROYAL ACADEMY
AND ITS MEMBERS

1768= 1830
BY THE LATE J. E. HODGSON, E.A.

LIBRARIAN AND PROFESSOR OF PAINTING IN THE ROYAL ACADEMY

AND FRED. A. EATON, M.A.



WITH PORTRAITS AND ILLUSTRATIONS



NEW YOEK
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

LONDON: JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET

1905



Printed in Great Britain.



DEDICATED

BY GRACIOUS PERMISSION TO

HIS MAJESTY KING EDWARD VII.

BY WHOSE ANCESTOR, KING GEORGE If}.

THE ROYAL ACADEMY

WAS FOUNDED.



252602



PREFACE

A CONSIDERABLE portion of the matter contained in this
volume has appeared in the pages of the Art Journal, the
proprietors of which magazine have kindly given their sanction
for its use.

The approval which the articles in their original form met
with from members of the Academy and others, encouraged me
to think that, with certain alterations and additions, they might
meet with acceptance from the public as an authentic history
of the Royal Academy and its members for the first sixty years
of the existence of the Institution.

Although the actual history does not go beyond the year
1830, many of the changes that have taken place in the Con-
stitution and Laws of the Academy down to the present time
are noted throughout the volume, and the information contained
in the Appendices, which it is hoped will be valuable for
reference, is completed to the end of the year 1904.

The greater number of the articles referred to were written
in collaboration with the late Mr J. E. Hodgson, R.A., Librarian
and Professor of Painting to the Royal Academy. At his death
Mr G. D. Leslie, R.A., kindly consented to take his place.
Roughly speaking the joint authorship of Mr Hodgson extends
to the end of Chapter XIV., while Mr Leslie has a share in
the remaining chapters.

All that part which treats of art in general, and of the art
of the members of the Royal Academy in particular, is by Mr
Hodgson and Mr Leslie. For so much as deals with the



vi PREFACE

history of the Royal Academy as an institution, and for the
editing of the work in its present form, also for the compilation
of the Appendices, I am responsible. My endeavour has been
to avoid as far as possible treating the subject in any contro-
versial spirit, and simply to put together a statement of facts
taken from the original sources. No attempt has been made
to give complete biographies of the members or lists of their
works ; these may be found elsewhere and would occupy too
much space here.

With the exception of a few prejudiced and untrustworthy
accounts of its early history, such as are to be found in Sir
Robert Strange's pamphlet, and Benjamin Haydon's autobio-
graphy, the only work dealing with the Royal Academy and
its members, hitherto published, has been that of Mr William
Sandby, which appeared in 1862, and from which much of the
information contained in the present volume has been derived,
though in every case it has been verified, and where necessary
corrected by reference to the original authorities.

My grateful thanks are due to the Council of the Royal
Academy for their kindness in giving me permission to make
free use of the archives of the Academy, and to reproduce
certain portraits and documents. I have also to express my
obligation to Mr C. Mallord Turner for allowing me to include
among the illustrations his portrait of J. M. W. Turner, R. A.

F. A. E.



CONTENTS

CHAPTER I

THE FOUNDATION OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY

PAGES

London in the eighteenth century ; early art in England ;
miniature painting ; Jonathan Richardson ; his influence on
Reynolds ; first establishment of Art in England ; Sir James
ThornhilPs Academy ; Hogarth's Academy in St Martin's
Lane ; plans for the establishment of an Academy ; exhibi-
tions of pictures started ; Societies of Artists formed ;
memorial to George III.; his approval of the scheme pro-
posed; signs the "Instrument" of the foundation of the
Royal Academy of Arts ; first meeting of the Royal Academy,
and first Discourse of Sir Joshua Reynolds as President . 1-13



CHAPTER II

THE FIRST PRESIDENT, SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS

Early life of Sir Joshua Reynolds ; the choice of a profession ;
pupil of Hudson ; returns to Devonshire ; goes with
Commodore Keppel to the Mediterranean ; stay in Italy ;
returns to London and settles in Leicester Fields ; his life
there ; the " Discourses " ; his opinions on Art ; his pictures
and methods of work ; his note-books ; sitter's chair ; is

knighted ; his many-sidedness ..... 14-27
vii



viii CONTENTS

CHAPTER III

THE FIRST PRESIDENCY

PAGES

The share of George III., Reynolds, and Sir William Chambers
in the foundation of the Academy; George III.'s personal
interest in it ; gives it financial aid and rooms in Somerset
House ; draws up the form of diploma of which Cipriani de-
signs the head-piece ; election of Reynolds as President ; his
assiduity in the discharge of his duties ; rejection by the
Council of a picture by Nathaniel Hone ; Hone's quarrel with
Angelica Kauffman ; Gainsborough's quarrel with the
Academy ; Reynolds' resignation, and the cause of it ; his
opinion of the behaviour of the Academy to him ; public
opinion on the matter ; reconciliation effected, and resumption
by Reynolds of the Chair ; his last appearance as President . 28-43

CHAPTER IV

THE FIRST EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

The " Obligation " or Roll of Institution ; election of President and
Council, Visitors, Secretary, and Keeper ; appointment of
Treasurer and Librarian ; composition of the Council Sir
William Chambers, first Treasurer ; his early life ; his con-
nection with the Court ; his influence in the Academy ; his
work as an architect Francis Milner Newton, first
Secretary ; his performance of his duties ; his life and
works George Michael Moser, first Keeper ; his merits as a
teacher ; the system of teaching in the Academy schools
Francis Hayman, first Librarian ; his art ... 44-55



CHAPTER V

THE FIRST PROFESSORS

The productive and the critical faculties compared ; the uses of
teaching by lectures ; election of the Professors of Painting,
Architecture, Perspective, and Anatomy ; their duties ; their



CONTENTS ix

diplomas Edward Penny, first Professor of Painting; his PAOKS
pictures ; influence among his fellow-artists Thomas
Sandby, first Professor of Architecture ; his early life ; his
work as an architect and as professor Samuel Wale, first
Professor of Perspective ; early water-colour art in England ;
Wale's work as an illustrator Dr William Hunter, first
Professor of Anatomy ; his lectures .... 56-67



CHAPTER VI

THOMAS GAINSBOROUGH, R.A.

Reynolds and Gainsborough the two greatest artists of the
eighteenth century ; early life and education of Gains-
borough ; he studies art in London ; his portrait ; his
marriage to Margaret Burr ; establishes himself in London ;
his letter, when dying, to Reynolds ; his character compared
with that of Reynolds ; his letters to William Jackson, the
musician ; his merits as an artist compared with those of
Reynolds ; their different methods of working ; his land-
scapes ; Ruskin's opinion of them ; how they differ from
the work of the present-day landscape painter ; final apprecia-
tion of him ....... 68-83



CHAPTER VII
THE REMAINING FOUNDATION AND NOMINATED MEMBERS

Francesco Bartolozzi ; his birth and art education ; comes
to England ; his reputation as an engraver Giovanni
Battista Cipriani ; designs the diploma and gold and silver
prize medals Agostino Carlini ; succeeds Moser as Keeper
Francis Cotes ; his pictures ; his death causes first vacancy
in the Academy George Dance ; his work as an architect ;
his services as an auditor of the Academy accounts
Nathaniel Dance ; his work ; resigns ; is made a Baronet
Mary Moser, flower painter Angelica Kauffman ; her

a 2



CONTENTS

claims as an artist ; her early life and first marriage ; her PAOKS
second marriage, and residence in Rome ; her death and
funeral ; the character of her art John Inigo Richards ;
elected Secretary Dominic Serres ; elected Librarian ; his
sea-pieces Richard Wilson ; the neglect he experienced ;
his place as a landscape painter ; his visit to Italy ; elected
Librarian ; his unhappy life ; " Peter Pindar's " lines on him
Joseph Wilton ; elected Keeper ; executed many public monu-
ments John Baker, painter of flower pieces and heraldic
subjects on coach panels George Barret, landscape
painter Charles Catton, landscape and coach panel
painter Mason Chamberlin, portrait painter John Gwynn,
architect Nathaniel Hone, portrait painter and caricaturist
Jeremiah Meyer, miniature painter ; proposes the establish-
ment of a Pension Fund Peter Toms ; paints draperies and
hands for Reynolds and others William Tyler, architect ;
appointed Trustee and Auditor Richard Yeo, medallist
Francesco Zuccarelli, landscape painter Paul Sandby, land-
scape painter ; his water-colours William Hoare, portrait and
historical painter Johan Zoffany ; birth and early life ; rescued
by Garrick from obscurity ; his portrait of Garrick as Abel
D rugger ; his art; his visit to India .... 84-109



CHAPTER VIII

ROYAL ACADEMICIANS ELECTED DURING THE
PRESIDENCY OF SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS

First proposal for filling up vacancies in the list of
Academicians ; institution of Associates ; Associates' form of
obligation and diploma ; Associate-engravers ; first election
of Associate-engravers and Associates Edward Burch, gem
sculptor ; appointed Librarian Richard Cosway ; his birth
and early life ; his remarkable career ; the art of miniature
painting ; wherein Cosway differs from the early minia-
turists ; his private life and marriage ; last years and death
Joseph Nollekens ; his success as a sculptor ; his marriage
and life, as told by John Thomas Smith James Barry ;
his early life and character ; friendship with Edmund
Burke j his aspiratipns ; life in Italy ; ideas on Art ; his



CONTENTS xi

pictures ; elected Professor of Painting ; abuses the members PAGES
of the Academy ; is expelled and his name struck off the
Roll by George III.; his last years and death William
Peters ; gives up painting as a profession, and is ordained ;
appointed Chaplain to the Academy ; resigns it and his
Academicianship ; later years and death . . . 110-131



CHAPTER IX

ROYAL ACADEMICIANS ELECTED DURING THE PRESIDENCY
OF SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS continued

John Bacon, first gold medallist in sculpture John Singleton
Copley ; his origin ; his art Philip James de Loutherbourg ;
his impress on English Art ; the qualities of his art ; his
"Eidophusikon" Edmund Garvey, landscape painter John
Francis Rigaud, historical painter Thomas Banks, gold
medallist and travelling student in sculpture ; his art and
character James Wyatt ; his work as an architect ; President-
elect Joseph Farington ; his active share in the manage-
ment of the Academy John Opie ; is brought by Dr Wolcott
to London, and becomes the fashion ; his art ; his proposal
for a naval monument ; elected Professor of Painting ; his
private life James Northcote ; becomes a pupil of Reynolds ;
his pictures and character William Hodges, landscape
painter John Russell, portrait painter in crayons William
Hamilton, portrait and historical painter Henry Fuseli ; his
history ; elected Professor of Painting, and Keeper ; his
accomplishments and art John Yenn, gold medallist in
architecture ; appointed Treasurer John Webber, landscape
painter Francis Wheatley, painter of rural and domestic
subjects Ozias Humphrey, portrait painter . . .132-150

CHAPTER X

ASSOCIATES ELECTED DURING THE PRESIDENCY OF SIR
JOSHUA REYNOLDS WHO DID NOT BECOME ACADEMICIANS

The Associate-engravers : Thomas Major, the first elected
Simon FranQois Ravenet Pierre Charles Canot John



xii CONTENTS

Browne Thomas Chambers Valentine Green, very dis- PAOW
tinguished mezzotint engraver ; his works Francis Haward
Joseph Collyer James Heath, distinguished line engraver.
The Associates : Edward Stevens, architect George James,
portrait painter Elias Martin, oil and water-colour painter
of various subjects Antonio Zucchi, painter of classical
subjects ; marries Angelica Kauffman Michael Angelo
Rooker, landscape painter ; did views of the Colleges at
Oxford for the Oxford Almanac William Pars, painted
portraits and made drawings of old temples Nicholas
Thomas Dall, landscape painter Biagio Rebecca, decorated
some of the Academy rooms at Somerset House William
Tomkins, landscape and still-life painter Stephen Elmer,
dead game and still-life painter Edward Edwards ;
painted scriptural and classical subjects ; elected Teacher
of Perspective William Parry, portrait painter John
Hamilton Mortimer, portrait and subject painter ; his picture
at the Academy James Nixon, portrait and miniature
painter Horace Hone, miniature painter George Stubbs ;
his sporting pictures ; his drawings for the "Anatomy of the
Horse"; elected Academician, but never received diploma
Joseph Wright (of Derby) ; his portraits and subject pictures ;
his differences with the Academy ; elected Academician, but
declined Joseph Bonomi, architect .... 151-166



CHAPTER XI

THE PRESIDENCY OF BENJAMIN WEST

Death and funeral of Sir Joshua Reynolds ; English Art in the
eighteenth century ; the position of the Academy at the
death of Reynolds ; its exhibitions, schools, and charities ;
address to George III. on its twenty-fifth anniversary; the
dispute between Henry Tresham, R.A., and the Academy ;
his appeal to George III., and the latter^ decision; law as
to the constitution of the Council ; dispute between the
Council and the General Assembly as to the appointment of
Committees; George III. appealed to; his decision in
favour of the Council ; the episode of West's picture of



CONTENTS xiii

"Hagar and Ishmael"; the finances of the Academy; PAaES
pensions to members and their widows ; donations to
exhibitors (non-members) and their widows ; control over
finances of George III.; changes in the schools; period of
studentship ; the Exhibition and " Varnishing Days " ; Prince
Hoare and his Academic Annals j the British Institution ; the
Water-colour Society ; Dulwich Picture Gallery ; its con-
nection with the Academy ; estimation in which the Academy
was held .... ... 167-184



CHAPTER XII

BENJAMIN WEST AND THE ROYAL ACADEMICIANS
ELECTED DURING HIS PRESIDENCY

Election of a successor to Reynolds ; West's birth and ancestry ;
his early life in America ; settles in London ; is patronised
by George III. ; his pictures ; his intercourse with George III. ;
refuses knighthood ; his popularity as President ; his resig-
nation and subsequent re-election ; story of Fuseli and Mary
Moser ; West's funeral Robert Smirke ; his works ; rejection
by George III. of his election as Keeper Sir Peter Francis
Bourgeois, landscape painter ; donor of the Dulwich Gallery
pictures Thomas Stothard ; his character and works ;
elected Librarian ; designed the reverse of the prize gold
medals Richard Westall ; his work as an illustrator ; taught
Queen Victoria drawing John Hoppner, portrait painter ;
his birth ; merits as a painter Sawrey Gilpin, painter of
horses Sir William Beechey, portrait painter Hemy
Tresham ; claims his seat on the Council ; elected Professor
of Painting Thomas Daniell, painter of Indian subjects
John Flaxman, sculptor ; a native-born artistic genius ; his
art as affected by his personality ; his merit as a designer ;
Wedgwood pottery ; Flaxman's early life and marriage ;
sojourn at Rome ; his works in sculpture ; elected Professor
of Sculpture ; Flaxman and Turner compared . . . 185-210



xiv CONTENTS



CHAPTER XIII

ROYAL ACADEMICIANS ELECTED DURING THE PRESIDENCY
OF BENJAMIN WEST continued

PA on

Joseph Mallord William Turner ; his first exhibited drawing ;
his personal appearance ; his early art training ; his
conception of the true relation between Nature and Art ;
illustrations of this in his works ; the variety of his
imagination, especially as shown in his water-colour
drawings ; his later works ; their exaggerated effects of
light; "The Fighting TMraire" ; his last days, death,
and funeral ; was he a disappointed man ? his affection for
the Royal Academy ; his love of mystery ; his will ; its
original provisions ; the codicils ; decision of the Court of
Chancery ; employment by the Royal Academy of the sum
allotted to it . . . . . . 211-227



CHAPTER XIV

ROYAL ACADEMICIANS ELECTED DURING THE PRESIDENCY
OF BENJAMIN WEST continued

Sir John Soane, architect ; the Soane Museum ; obtains the
travelling studentship in architecture, and goes to Italy ;
his work as an architect ; elected Professor of Architecture ;
his dispute with the Academy about his lectures ; his
treatment of his son ; his offer to contribute towards the
purchase of Sir T. Lawrence's old-master drawings John
Charles Felix Rossi, gold medallist and travelling student in
sculpture ; his monuments in St Paul's ; gets into difficulties
and receives a pension Henry Thomson, historical painter ;
elected Keeper ; his letter on his retirement ; his gifts
William Owen ; his success as a portrait painter ; his art
Samuel Woodforde, historical painter Henry Howard, gold
medallist in painting ; elected Secretary and Professor of
Painting ; his academic art ; gains one of the Westminster



CONTENTS xv

Cartoon premiums Thomas Phillips ; his portraits of PAQES

eminent men ; elected Professor of Painting ; the character

of his art Nathaniel Marchant, gem engraver ; his diploma

work . . 228-246



CHAPTER XV

ROYAL ACADEMICIANS ELECTED DURING THE PRESIDENCY
OF BENJAMIN WEST continued

Sir Augustus Wall Callcott ; his connection with Kensington ;
abandons music for painting, first portraits, then landscape ;
his success as a landscape painter ; Lady Callcott Sir
David Wilkie ; his early life in Scotland ; arrival in London,
and success ; his early pictures ; visits Spain ; change in
his method of painting ; his personality ; death and burial at
sea James Ward ; his early life ; influence on him of
Morland ; his pictures ; his account of two Welsh fasting
women ; his contributions to Exhibitions Sir Richard
Westmacott ; his work as a sculptor ; elected Professor of
Sculpture Sir Robert Smirke ; his work as an architect ;
character of modern architecture ; appointed Treasurer ;
resigns office and Academicianship Henry Bone, enamel
and miniature painter ; the series of portraits executed by
him Philip Reinagle, painter of portraits and sporting
subjects ........ 247-268



CHAPTER XVI

ROYAL ACADEMICIANS ELECTED DURING THE PRESIDENCY
OF BENJAMIN WEST continued

William Theed, sculptor George Dawe ; his early life and great
industry ; becomes a portrait painter, and executes many
commissions abroad, especially at St Petersburg ; his
character William Redmore Bigg ; the subjects of his
pictures Edward Bird ; his pictures and rapid success
Sir Henry Raeburn ; his early life in Edinburgh j marriage



xvi CONTENTS

and visit to Rome ; return to Edinburgh, and election to the PAOBS
Academy ; his portraits, and rank as a painter William
Mulready ; his early years ; devotion to study, and rapid
rise ; proposes the abolition of the " Varnishing Days " ; his
pictures Alfred Edward Chalon ; his early life and work ;
founds with his brother the Sketching Club ; personal char-
acteristics John Jackson ; his early life ; his portraits, and
rapid method of work Sir Francis Legatt Chantrey ; his
birth and early life ; comes to London ; marries ; his work
as a sculptor ; his will ; the Chantrey Bequest William
Hilton; subjects of his pictures; elected Keeper Abraham
Cooper, painter of horses and battle pictures ; known as
"Horse Cooper "William Collins ; his early life and trials;
his pictures ; elected Librarian ..... 269-293



CHAPTER XVII

ASSOCIATES ELECTED DURING THE PRESIDENCY OF
BENJAMIN WEST WHO DID NOT BECOME ACADEMICIANS

John Downman, portrait painter Anker Smith, engraver
George Garrard, animal painter James Fittler, engraver
Joseph Gandy, architect Theophilus Clarke, portrait painter
John Landseer, engraver ; urges the claims of engravers to
full membership Archer James Oliver, portrait painter
Samuel Drummond, portrait and subject painter George
Arnald, landscape and marine painter William Westall,
landscape painter George Francis Joseph, portrait painter
William Ward, engraver Washington Allston ; his parentage
and early career ; comes to England ; his return to
America William Bromley, engraver .... 294-302



CHAPTER XVIII

SIR THOMAS LAWRENCE AND HIS PRESIDENCY

Sir Thomas Lawrence ; his parents and early life ; his precocity ;
portrait painting at Bath as a youth ; comes to London, and
enters th^ Academy schools ; becomes the fashionable



CONTENTS xvii

portrait painter ; difficulties over his election as an PAGES
Associate ; full member at twenty-five years old ; ladies'
dress at beginning of the nineteenth century ; historic
portraits in the Waterloo Gallery at Windsor Castle ; is
elected President ; illness, death, and funeral ; his portraits
and method of painting ; the election of Lawrence as
President ; presentation of gold medal and chain by George
IV. ; urges the formation of a National Gallery ; takes a
great interest in the endeavours to establish the Royal
Hibernian and the Royal Scottish Academies ; great supporter
of charitable societies for artists ; his collection of old-
master drawings and architectural casts ; changes during
his Presidency ; the Honorary Officers ; the annual dinner . 303-314



CHAPTER XIX

ROYAL ACADEMICIANS, AND ASSOCIATES WHO DID NOT
BECOME ACADEMICIANS, ELECTED DURING THE PRESI-
DENCY OF SIR THOMAS LAWRENCE

Royal Academicians : Edward Hodges Baily, gold medallist in
sculpture ; his work ; is placed on the retired list Richard
Cook, painter of classical subjects W. Daniell, landscape
painter Ramsay Richard Reinagle, landscape and animal
painter ; is required to resign Sir Jeffry Wyatville, architect ;
his work at Windsor Castle George Jones, battle painter ;
elected Librarian and then Keeper ; acts as Deputy-President ;
story of him and the Duke of Wellington William Wilkins,
architect; his works Charles Robert Leslie; his early life
in America ; comes to England ; the subjects of his pictures ;
is appointed Drawing Master at the West Point Military
Academy, but soon returns to England ; his share in the
business of the Academy ; elected Professor of Painting ; his
literary skill ; tribute to him by Thackeray Henry William
Pickersgill, portrait painter ; elected Librarian William Etty ;
his early years ; his work in the schools as student and then
visitor ; his pictures and their subjects John Constable ; his
choice of a profession ; his early pictures ; the prices paid to



xviii CONTENTS

him for his pictures and those now obtained in the auction PAOES
room ; his tardy promotion ; mortification at want of
success, and sensitiveness to criticism. Associates : Henry
Edridge, miniature and landscape painter George Clint,
dramatic portrait painter ; his resignation Francis Danby,
landscape painter ; his art Richard James Lane, engraver
Charles Turner, engraver Speech of the Prince Consort
at the annual dinner in 1851 ; continued patronage of the
Academy by the Crown . . . . . -315-341



APPENDICES ........ 343398



INDEX ......... 399



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

H.M. KING GEORGE III., BY SIR J. REYNOLDS, P.R.A. Frontispiece
SIR J. REYNOLDS, P.R.A., BY HIMSELF . . . to face page 14

THE DIPLOMA OF SIR J. REYNOLDS 30

SOMERSET HOUSE IN 1781, showing the part of the building
occupied by the Royal Academy, from an Engraving by
T. Malton ........ 48

THOMAS GAINSBOROUGH, R.A., BY HIMSELF 68

ENGRAVING OF RAMBERG'S DRAWING OF THE EXHIBI-
TION OF 1787 . . . . . . 1 10

THE ROYAL ACADEMICIANS IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
UNDER THE PRESIDENCY OF BENJAMIN WEST, IN
1802, BY HENRY SINGLETON ....,,166

KEY TO THE ABOVE ...... to face the above

BENJAMIN WEST, P.R.A., BY HIMSELF . . . to face page 184

JOSEPH MALLORD WILLIAM TURNER, from the Portrait
by Charles Turner, A.E.R.A., in the possession of
Mr C. Mallord W. Turner . . . . 200

SIR THOMAS LAWRENCE, P.R.A., BY HIMSELF . . 304



xix



HISTORY OF THE ROYAL
ACADEMY

CHAPTER I

THE FOUNDATION OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY

ART, as George Henry Lewes says, to reach the height
of perfection, must have the co-operation of the nation
with individual genius. When it became acclimatised in
this country and began to be practised by Englishmen in
the eighteenth century, it certainly had no such co-operation.
That eighteenth century, so admirable and yet so ridiculous,
so amusing, so instructive, so irritating, and so contemp-



Online LibraryJ. E. (John Evan) HodgsonThe Royal academy and its members 1768-1830 → online text (page 1 of 35)