Proposals to found an Academy of Fine Arts in London, modelled on the French example, were made as early as 1736 and became frequent during the 1740s and 1750s, a period in which the exhibition and sale of modern art works was expanding — along with all manner of cultural consumption — in a London made rich by increasing national and international trade. Gentlemanly tastes, then as now, inclined towards works of a suitable age and provenance, but new British work was beginning to find occasional place.
Artists experienced diverse needs — for a guild or trade association to ensure the education of practitioners and provide financial help to those in distress and their dependants, and above all an organisation which could a…
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Clark, Robert. "Royal Academy of Arts". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 February 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=974, accessed 23 May 2017.]