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Life class at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture
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Life class at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture


Charles Joseph Natoire (1700-1777)

Pen, black and brown ink, grey wash and watercolour and traces of graphite over black chalk on laid paper.

Height: 45.3 cm; Width: 32.2 cm;

Pen and dark grey ink by the artist, lower centre & recto, C NATOIRE f.1746

Acquisition (source, method, date)
Witt, Robert Clermont (Sir); bequest; 1952

About this work
Natoire was an instructor at the Royal Academy in Paris. He depicts himself here in a red cloak correcting a pupil’s drawing. Other students are drawing from the two life models posed on the table in the centre. The paintings on the walls and casts of antique statues, including the Farnese Hercules seen from the back at left, serve as honoured prototypes. Natoire kept this ambitious, elaborately finished work until his death, suggesting it was a personal manifesto of the importance of academic drawing. (Permanent collection label)

Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

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