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Zoffany’s image similarly shows the ‘back-of-house’ clutter and the intellectual dignity of working artists, where fine gentlemen sit on packing cases and converse with polish and good-humour. He depicts the Academy’s life-drawing

The Royal Academy aimed to revive British arts and crafts

Thomas Sandby (1721-98)

Old Somerset House

RCIN 914698

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Thomas Sandby, along with his brother Paul, was one of the founder members of the Academy. This is a watercolour of Old Somerset House, the home of the Royal Academy from 1771.

Both brothers had connections to the Royal Family. Paul painted several watercolours of Windsor Castle which were acquired by George IV, while from 1764 Thomas served as Deputy Ranger of Windsor Great Park, where he carried out extensive architectural and landscaping work.