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date: 22 October 2020


  • Humphrey Wine


Association or school of artists organized as a professional institution with a view to providing training, theoretical debate and exhibiting opportunities, and to mediate between its members and patrons or public. The word ‘academy’ derives from the ancient Greek ‘akademeia’, the name of the grove near Athens where Plato taught his pupils philosophy. In early modern times the term was first used in 15th-century Italy to describe meetings of literati, but from the 16th century it was adopted by those artists’ corporations that included teaching as one of their main purposes, particularly teaching with an intellectual as opposed to a purely manual content. Drawing after antique statuary and from the live model (see Academy figure) played a preponderant part in this teaching, although anatomy, geometry, perspective, history and other disciplines were variously included in the curricula of academies. From around 1600 the academic idea spread from Italy to France, Spain and the Netherlands. It was in France under ...

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