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The Royal Academy, Sensation Pictures, and Private Display

 

The Royal Academy established at 1769 and launched its first exhibition on 26th April in the same year.[1] It was supported by the British royal authority.[2] The local British artists were benefited by this academy. It also divided the artists into two groups. The artists who were displayed their art in the Royal Academy and the artists who displayed outside like Vauxhall.[3] There was a fee to display art in the Royal Academy, but it was free in the Spring Garden.[4] The rivals between the two groups made two important business concepts in the history of art. These two were ‘sensation picture’ and ‘private display’.[5]

 

Artist Nathaniel Hone (1718-84), was rejected by the Royal Academy selection committee in 1775.[6] In his painting, The Conjuror (Figure 5), Hone depicted the respectable artist, Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807), dancing nude with a smoking torch.[7] After rejection, the cleaver painter exhibited the painting privately with other sixty images of him.[8] He also charged one shilling to see the debated image.[9] It also got high media coverage by the newspapers. The Morning Chronicle featured the news in the front page, made it more public.[10] Nathaniel Hone was benefited from the news coverage. This made the new and later, very successful business concept to the art industry, ‘sensation picture’.

 

In 1779, John Singleton Copley (1738-1815), an artist cum entrepreneur, decided to display his The Death of the Earl of Chatham (1779), in the Spring Garden.[11] This event was advertised heavily in the newspapers and editorials.[12] It was shown by more than twenty thousands of visitors and Copley earned £5000, which is equivalent to £530,000 in 2010.[13] It was a huge success in terms of money. Copley sold the engravings and prints as well through a dealer, John Boydell.[14]

 

[1] Bayer and Page, The Development of the Art Market in England, 62.

[2] Bayer and Page, The Development of the Art Market in England, 62.

[3] Bayer and Page, The Development of the Art Market in England, 62.

[4] Bayer and Page, The Development of the Art Market in England, 63.

[5] Bayer and Page, The Development of the Art Market in England, 62-8.

[6] Bayer and Page, The Development of the Art Market in England, 63.

[7] Bayer and Page, The Development of the Art Market in England, 63.

[8] Bayer and Page, The Development of the Art Market in England, 63.

[9] Bayer and Page, The Development of the Art Market in England, 63.

[10] Bayer and Page, The Development of the Art Market in England, 63.

[11] Bayer and Page, The Development of the Art Market in England, 63.

[12] Bayer and Page, The Development of the Art Market in England, 64.

[13] Bayer and Page, The Development of the Art Market in England, 64-5.

[14] Bayer and Page, The Development of the Art Market in England, 64-5.

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