The Academy Exposed: French Figure Studies from the Permanent Collection

Jean Jacques Lagrenée II (French, 1739–1821), <em>Study of a Male Nude</em>, red chalk on laid paper. Purchased with funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. D'Arcy Chisholm, 1985.003.002

Jean Jacques Lagrenée II (French, 1739–1821), Study of a Male Nude, red chalk on laid paper. Purchased with funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. D'Arcy Chisholm, 1985.003.002

Scholz Family Works on Paper Gallery October 27–December 22, 2013

The rise of humanism during the Renaissance led to an increased interest in the accurate depiction of the human figure. The idealized male nude became an emblem of beauty. An artist’s education was founded on the mastery of drawing the human form from life. This focus exhibition presented a selection of académies— so-called because the French government gave a monopoly to teach figure drawing from the live model to the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture—that reflect pedagogical principles, changes in studio practice and technique, and a concomitant evolution in style from about 1600 to 1900.