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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

Benjamin West (1738-1820)

The Departure of Regulus Signed and dated 1769

RCIN 405416

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Benjamin West was the second president of the Royal Academy, succeeding Joshua Reynolds upon his death in 1792 as well as serving as Surveyor of the King's Pictures from 1791.

American-born, West was the foremost history painter in Britain in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century and was commissioned by George III to paint several large historical paintings to decorate various residences

This is one of three pairs of neo-classical paintings painted for the 'Warm Room' at Buckingham House and depicts the departure of the Roman consul Regulus following his capture by Carthage in 255BC.

It was displayed at the first Royal Academy exhibition in 1769 at the King's instruction.