The Permanent Collection on display in the John Madejski Fine Rooms

Works of Feeling: Pre-Raphaelite Book Illustration

17 October to 22 December 2017
RA Library Print 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-1pm and 2pm-5pm.

Sir Edward Burne-Jones ARA, The Summer Snow, 1863. Wood-engraving. © Royal Academy of Arts, London.

A focused display of Victorian wood-engravings in the Royal Academy Print Room, featuring Pre-Raphaelite artists including Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais and William Holman Hunt.

The Pre-Raphaelites are admired for the groundbreaking combination of vibrant colour, naturalism and emotional charge contained in their paintings. What is far less known is that early in their careers they were accomplished book illustrators.

The Royal Academy holds a collection of these works in print and book form. We are delighted to show a small selection in the Library Print Room, giving further insight into the literary and emotional sources of Pre-Raphaelite creativity. The display will also contain examples of related mid-Victorian illustration by Frederick Sandys, Lord Leighton PRA and Sir Edward Poynter PRA. 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.

Explore our new Collections site

We've recently restructured how we present the RA Collection online, bringing the Collection into the heart of our site. We've redesigned our search, our artist pages and our pages for paintings, sculptures, artists' letters, books and archives and added a couple of new ways to browse works of art. It's currently in beta and we'd love you to take a look and let us know your thoughts.

> Take a look


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.

Object of the Month

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Thomas Banks RA, The Falling Titan, 1786

The Falling Titan depicts the doomed attempt of an earthbound giant to reach Olympus and overthrow Jupiter by piling up great boulders, only to be crushed by these very stones. This dynamic sculpture represents the real anguish and pain of the giant as he is flung down the mountain, and the presence of the huge mass of rocks bearing down on the figure greatly contributes to its drama. >More....

Artist of the Month

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Benjamin West PRA (1738-1820)

Benjamin West PRA was born in Pennsylvania in 1738, as one of ten children. He came to London after studying in Italy between 1760 and 1763. He developed a very successful practice, which included both history painting and portraiture and became a founder-member of the Royal Academy of Arts. >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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