The Permanent Collection on display in the John Madejski Fine Rooms

John Gibson RA: A British sculptor in Rome

8 September to 18 December 2016
Tennant Gallery and Council Room, Burlington House

Complimentary entry with a valid Royal Academy exhibition ticket or £3 General Admission ticket. Friends of the RA and under 16s go free.

Opening times
Tuesday - Friday, 10am-4pm. Saturday and Sunday, 10am-6pm. Closed Monday

John Gibson RA, The meeting of Hero and Leander, plaster relief, ca. 1842. © Royal Academy of Arts, London

John Gibson (1790-1866) was the most successful British sculptor of his generation. Born in Conwy, Wales, he moved to Italy in 1817 and settled in Rome where he studied with the famous neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova before setting up his own studio in the city. By the time he made his first return visit to the UK in 1844, 'Gibson of Rome' was a famous artist and soon became one of Prince Albert's favourite sculptors, producing several portraits of Queen Victoria.

Timed to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Gibson's death, this display presents a selection of more than 30 works from Gibson's important bequest to the Royal Academy. More >...

Free Tours of the Royal Academy

John Constable RA, Cloud Study, Hampstead, Tree at Right, 1821 [detail]

See highlights from the Royal Academy's collection, find out more about the history of the institution and explore its home, Burlington House, on a free guided tour of the RA, including the John Madejski Fine Rooms.

Current displays include paintings by Sir Joshua Reynolds, Sir Thomas Lawrence, John Constable, Benjamin West and William Wyllie. There is also a chance to see W.P. Frith's Private View at the Royal Academy 1881 (on loan from the Pope Family Trust) alongside works by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, G.F. Watts and Briton Riviere. >More ...

Constable's paintings

John Constable RA, The Leaping Horse [detail], oil on canvas, 1825. © Royal Academy of Arts, London.

In the section on Constable's Paintings you can explore paintings by John Constable in the Royal Academy Collection. You can also watch videos of MaryAnne Stevens and Michael Rosenthal discussing Constable's work in relation to his observations of different weather conditions on the landscape, the oil sketches he made around Hampstead and his great masterpiece, The Leaping Horse.

Searching the Collections

The Royal Academy Collections include paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, historic books, (i.e. published before 1921), archives, historic photographs and plaster casts. To search any of these categories either use the quick search box at the top of this page or for more advanced searches visit Search all collections to search across all media, or narrow your search by choosing to search Works of art, Books or Archives. Alternatively you can browse by the Name A-Z
or visit Help.

You can also search our modern book collection, (i.e. books published after 1920). Click here to begin searching:

RA Library OPAC

The Library and Archive form one of the most significant resources for the study of British Art from 1760 onwards. >More...

Royal Academy Winter Exhibition Catalogues now online

Front cover of RA Winter Exhibition Catalogue 1926 - Exhibition of Works by the late John  S. Sargent RA
The Royal Academy of Arts Winter loan Exhibition catalogues from their inception in 1870 to 1939 have been digitised and are now available to search and browse online.

For the first 100 years of its existence, the Royal Academy organised just one exhibition each year, the annual, Summer exhibition. It wasn’t until 1870, coinciding with its move to Burlington House, that the RA began organising an annual loan exhibition of Old Masters and works by recently deceased British artists, known from its inception and for many years as the Winter Exhibition. After World War 1 the Winter Exhibitions programme became far more ambitious and included major surveys of Italian, Dutch, Flemish, Spanish, French, Persian and British art. Also for the first time, illustrated catalogues were produced.

Click here to begin browsing the catalogues.
Click here to begin searching the catalogues.

The project has been funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.


RA Collections in Focus

RA Collections Guide

Click here to download an introductory guide (4.5 MB) to the Royal Academy's collection of paintings, sculptures and works on paper. A printed copy of this guide is given out free to teachers and full-time students with ID at the RA Learning Desk and is available to other visitors for purchase from the RA Shop.

Artist of the Month - January 2017

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Elizabeth Blackadder RA (b.1931)

During the 1970s Blackadder's subject matter shifted from bleak landscapes in earthy tones to flowers grown in her own garden. This may stem from her growing confidence in painting, which she believed more challenging to capture beautiful subject matter. "As a student, one wants to paint distressing things. It's quite easy to tackle grim things - it's difficult to paint beauty." >More....

Object of the Month - January 2017

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John Constable RA, Flatford Mill from a Lock on the Stour, c.1811

Throughout his career Constable painted many oil sketches representing the seventeenth-century corn mill where he grew up. His father, Golding Constable, was a corn merchant who owned Flatford Mill in East Bergholt. Flatford Mill from a lock on the Stour, one of his earlier works, demonstrates his affiliation with his childhood home as he associated the river Stour with his 'careless boyhood.' >More....

RA Collection Prints

Frederick Gore RA, Mountain Landscape, Majorca, oil on canvas, ca. 1960. © Royal Academy of Arts, London

Order bespoke art prints, canvases and framed reproductions from the Royal Academy Collection. Over the coming months we will be adding many more images from the collection.

For reproduction rights, please contact the Picture Library.


Benjamin West PRA - History Painter to the King

Loyd Grossman discusses Benjamin West PRA

Watch a series of interviews in which Loyd Grossman and Curators from the Collection discuss Benjamin West’s meteoric career, his apocalyptic subjects and a satirical print which reveals how West and other Academicians were duped into buying a fake manuscript which purported to reveal the secret techniques of the Old Masters. More>

Royal Academy Collections awarded Designation Status

The Collection, Library and Archives of the Royal Academy have been awarded national Designation status, identifying them as pre-eminent in their field and recognising their international importance. Designation is a mark of excellence, not only for the collection but also for the institution since, it must demonstrate its ability to care for a collection of national importance. The award places the RA’s collections on a par with other non-national museums, such as the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Courtauld Institute.

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