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…
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 09 December 2016.]