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The Making of an Artist: The Great Tradition
Royal Academy of Arts, London

The Making of an Artist: The Great Tradition is an exhibition curated by Christopher Le Brun from the permanent collection of the Royal Academy in the brand new Collections Gallery.

The exhibition includes many of the Academy's exemplars of earlier art, including an almost full-size 16th-century copy of Leonardo’s Last Supper, casts of key classical sculptures – most notably the Belvedere Torso – and Michelangelo’s Taddei Tondo, the only marble sculpture by Michelangelo in Great Britain. 

Le Brun observes that when the RA was founded, the main carrier of ideas in art was the nude male figure, but in the hands of Constable, the main carrier of meaning became “the stuff of nature”, including leaves in the breeze, rotting timbers and fluffy clouds.

Does great art begin with studying nature, or studying the great art of the past? Decide for yourself in this new gallery, bringing together highlights from the RA Collection.

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