PREVIOUS OBJECTS OF THE MONTH

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Sir Nicholas Grimshaw PRA (b.1939), <I>Record drawing for Waterloo International Railway Terminal, Lambeth, London</I>
print with blue and grey crayon added, 1997.
© Royal Academy of Arts Object of the Month - January 2010

Sir Nicholas Grimshaw PRA (b.1939), Record drawing for Waterloo International Railway Terminal, Lambeth, London, print with blue and grey crayon added, 1997
Sir Nicholas Grimshaw presented this drawing of Waterloo International Terminal as his Diploma Work. It was made as a record of one of the architect's best-known projects.
 
Gary Hume RA, <i>American Tan XXVIII 1</i>, gloss paint on aluminium, 2008 Object of the Month - February 2010

Gary Hume RA, (b.1962) American Tan XXVIII1, gloss paint on aluminium, 2008
American Tan XXVIII1 is part of a large series of the same title which are thematically related, but also exist autonomously. The title, like this painting, has many layers of meaning and interpretation.
 
Edward Edwards ARA, <I>The Church of St. Nicholas, Newcastle</I>, pencil, watercolour and pen on wove paper, 1787-88<br>
© Royal Academy of Arts, London. Object of the Month - April 2010

Edward Edwards ARA, The Church of St. Nicholas, Newcastle,
pencil, watercolour and pen on wove paper, 1787-88
In 1787 the artist Edward Edwards visited Newcastle-upon-Tyne to paint scenery for the theatre. While he was there he also produced several topographical views, including this fine watercolour of St Nicholas's Church.


 
Algernon Newton RA, <i>The Regent's Canal, Paddington</i>, oil on canvas, 1930 <br>© Royal Academy of Arts, London. Object of the Month - May 2010

Algernon Newton RA, The Regent's Canal, Paddington, oil on canvas, 1930
This painting is the largest of Newton's elegant, tranquil, almost surreal depictions of London canals. Moving back to the capital after the First World War, the artist was inexorably drawn to the shabbier side of the city's poorer districts and slums. In the following decades, these rarely portrayed areas became the lynchpin of his work.
 
Lord Leighton, P.R.A. (1830-1896) <i>Sketch model of Perseus, Pegasus and Andromeda for 'Perseus and Andromeda'</i>, bronze ca.1896 (after a plaster dated ca.1890) <br>© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - June 2010

Lord Leighton PRA (1830-1896) Sketch model of Perseus, Pegasus and Andromeda for 'Perseus and Andromeda'
In Greek legend, Queen Cassiopeia angered the sea god Poseidon by claiming that she or her daughter Andromeda was more beautiful than the Nereids. As punishment Poseidon sent a sea monster to attack her land. The only way that the monster could be averted was by chaining Andromeda to a rock in the sea as a sacrifice.
 
Sir Henry Rushbury RA, <I>The Walls of Gerona</I><br> © Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - July 2010

Sir Henry Rushbury RA, The Walls of Gerona
Henry Rushbury's print The Walls of Gerona was made after a visit to the ancient fortified city in Catalonia, northeast Spain, in 1935. At the time the artist wrote home to his wife, 'After the grey of England this is a bright and subtle world to capture. The shadows are as sharp as a razor's edge yet they are full of reflected light and colour.'

 
Sir Henry Raeburn RA, <i>Boy and Rabbit</i> <br>© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - August 2010

Raeburn's Boy and Rabbit depicts Henry Raeburn Inglis in an informal and relaxed setting. The boy's proximity to the picture plane and Raeburn's broad handling of the landscape suggests a familiarity and ease which would have been more restrained in a commissioned portrait.
 
Attributed to John Hamilton Mortimer ARA (1740-1799), <i>Self Portrait with Joseph Wilton and a student</i><br> © Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - September 2010

Attributed to John Hamilton Mortimer ARA (1740-1799), Self Portrait with Joseph Wilton and a student ca.1760-65
It is thought that this painting represents John Hamilton Mortimer, Joseph Wilton, and an unknown student drawing at the Duke of Richmond's Cast Gallery. This collection of plaster casts after the Antique that was made available to students between 1758 and 1762.


 
image of AST477 Object of the Month - October 2010

Eric Kennington RA, Abd-el Rahman, pastel on green toned paper, 1921
This pastel portrait was one of the original illustrations to the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Lawrence of Arabia's autobiographical account of his role in the Arab revolt against the Turks during the First World War. It depicts Abd el-Rahman, one of Lawrence's bodyguards and a valued member of his entourage.
 
Ruskin Spear RA, 1911-1990, <i>Man in a pub</i>, oil on board, ?1960s<br>©Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - November 2010

Ruskin Spear RA (1911-1990), Man in a pub, oil on board, ?1960s
Ruskin Spear often painted the regulars in his local pubs - the Hampshire Hog and the Ravenscourt Arms in Hammersmith, west London. Here, a small elderly man, in a cloth cap is shown from a low viewpoint behind the bar.
 
<I>Self-portrait of Sir Thomas Lawrence PRA</I>, oil on canvas, ca.1825 <br>©Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - December 2010

Sir Thomas Lawrence PRA (1769-1830) Self-Portrait
Thomas Lawrence was one of the finest and most successful portrait painters of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He painted with great fluency and this, combined with his inventiveness in composing his portraits, ensured that his influence on future generations of artists was evident well into the 20th century.
 
Angelica Kauffman RA, <i>Design</i>, oil on canvas, 1778-80 <br>©Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - January 2011

Angelica Kauffman RA, Design, oil on canvas, 1778-80
This painting is part of a set of the four 'Elements of Art' represented by female allegories of Invention, Composition, Design and Colour which were commissioned by the Royal Academy in 1778 to decorate the ceiling of the Academy's new Council Chamber in Somerset House.
 
Lynn Chadwick RA <i>Teddy Boy and Girl</i>, bronze, cast in 2002 from 1955 version  <br>© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - February 2011

Lynn Chadwick RA, Teddy Boy and Girl, bronze, cast in 2002 from 1955 version
The title, Teddy Boy and Girl, makes reference to the flamboyant Neo-Edwardian style of fashion, popularised and worn by young working class men and women in the 1950s. The sculpture was given to the Royal Academy in 2002, but was first exhibited at the 28th Venice Biennale in 1956, where Chadwick was awarded the International Sculpture Prize.

 
Sir David Chipperfield RA, <i>Neues Museum, Museum Island, Berlin, Germany:  longitudinal section</i>, 2008, Digital print with coloured inks on canvas <br>© The Artist/Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - March 2011

Sir David Chipperfield RA, Neues Museum, Museum Island, Berlin, Germany: longitudinal section, 2008
The view is a slice right through the central length of Berlin's Neues Museum, which had sat derelict since aerial bombardments in the 1940s.
 
David Robert RA (1796-1864), <I>The Gateway to the Great Temple at Baalbec</I>, oil on panel, 1841<br> © Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - April 2011

David Roberts RA (1796-1864), The Gateway to the Great Temple at Baalbec, 1841
David Roberts was the first independent British artist to travel and paint extensively in the Near East. His evocative portrayals of ancient monuments and vast desert landscapes brought the topography of Egypt and the 'lands of the Bible' to an appreciative European audience.

 
Eileen Agar RA, <i>Collective Unconscious</i>, acrylic on canvas, 1977-78 <br>© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - May 2011

Eileen Agar RA, Collective Unconscious, acrylic on canvas, 1977-78
The lyricism and vibrant colouring of Collective Unconscious is representative of Agar's late work. The composition combines Surrealist elements with its abstracted 'cut-out' forms and painterly surface.
 
Sir George Frampton RA, <i>Lamia</i>, ivory, bonze, opals and glass, 1899-1900<br>© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - June 2011

Sir George Frampton RA, Lamia, ivory, bonze, opals and glass, 1899-1900
With its melancholic femme fatale subject matter and use of polychromatic materials, Lamia epitomises the ideals of the late 19th century Symbolist movement. Frampton's figure is not the sorceress of classical tradition but the Lamia of John Keats's eponymous poem (1819).
 
Margaret Fisher Prout, ARA,  <i>Midsummer</i>, oil on canvas, ca.1960 <br>© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - July 2011

Margaret Fisher Prout ARA, Midsummer, oil on canvas, ca.1960
Margaret Fisher Prout had a keen interest in flower gardens and often painted outside, influenced by the commitment of her father, Mark Fisher RA, to plein-air painting.
 
Albert Irvin RA, <i>Blue Anchor</i>, acrylic on canvas, 1989 <br>
© Access restricted Object of the Month - August 2011

Albert Irvin RA, Blue Anchor, acrylic on canvas, 1989
Irvin has spent most of his life in London and the city is a recurring theme in his art. 'My painting is informed by my movement through the world - an urban world of verticals and horizontals'.
 
<b>Cast of a bust of Ippolita Maria Sforza, ca. 1473 after Francesco Laurana (ca. 1430-1502)</b> <br>© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - September 2011

?19th century cast of a bust of Ippolita Maria Sforza, ca. 1473 after Francesco Laurana (ca. 1430-1502)
This cast is of a marble bust, which was in the Berlin Staatliche Museum until destroyed during the Second World War. The sitter is most commonly identified as Ippolita Maria Sforza (1445-1488) who married Alfonso II, King of Naples in 1465.
 
Frank Bowling,  RA, <i>Wintergreens</i>, acrylic on canvas, 1986 <br>© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - October 2011

Frank Bowling, RA
Bowling was born in British Guiana (today Guyana) in 1936 and moved to England in his late teens. In 1959 he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in London, where his love of colour soon became apparent.
 
Sarah Simblet, <i>Study after Anthony van Dyck's 'The Brazen Serpent'</i>, pen and ink and wash on paper, 24 December 1994 <br>
© The Artist Object of the Month - November 2011

Sarah Simblet, Study after Anthony van Dyck's 'The Brazen Serpent', pen and ink and wash on paper, 1994
In 1994 the artist Sarah Simblet was awarded the Richard Ford Award travelling scholarship to Spain while she was an undergraduate and she spent three months in Madrid from 1994 to 1995.
 
John Maine RA, Misra Yantra, Conté crayon on paper, 1982. © The Artist. Object of the Month - December 2011

The sculptor John Maine drew many studies of the large-scale astronomical instrument, Misra Yantra, when he visited India in the early 1980s, of which this is one of the largest (measuring 785 x 1340 mm). He charted the movements of the sun over the instrument in this series, which formed part of an exhibition of his drawings at Spitalfields Workspace, London in 1982.
 
Ruskin Spear, RA, <i>Portrait of Ernest Marsh</i>, oil on canvas 1954  <br>© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - January 2012

Ernest or Ernie Marsh worked at a fish and chip shop in Hammersmith. Marsh sat for many portraits because Spear was attracted to distinctive physical attributes that revealed character, and in particular his 'wonky eyes'.
 
John Constable, RA, <i>Rainstorm over the Sea</i>, oil on paper laid on canvas, c.1824-28 <br>© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - February 2012

Constable's atmospheric sketch of a rainstorm over Brighton beach was painted between 1824 and 1828 while the artist's wife and family were living on the Sussex coast.
 
<b>F. Ernest Jackson ARA, </b><i>The Front Door</i>, lithograph, 1913<br> © The Artist's Estate Object of the Month - March 2012

In The Front Door, the artist F. Ernest Jackson shows a view from the hallway of his home, Morton House on Chiswick Mall, out of the open door on to the gardens and River Thames beyond, with the foliage of Chiswick Eyot just visible in the distance.
 
Chris Orr RA, <i>1796 and all that</i>, lithograph, 1996 <br>© The Artist Object of the Month - April 2012

Fact and fantasy collide in Chris Orr's lithograph 1796 and all that in a way that typifies the artist's work. Orr is one of Britain's foremost artist-printmakers, renowned for his technical mastery and joyfully anarchic subject-matter.
 
Henry Poole RA, <i>Young Pan</i>, marble, 1928 <br>© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - May 2012

Henry Poole's Young Pan contrasts the smooth features of his youthful Pan with the roughness of the marble from which they emerge - showing his skill as a sculptor and perhaps hinting at the "earthiness" of Pan, who was also the god of fertility.
 
Peter Greenham RA, <i>Study for a Portrait of Her Majesty The Queen</i>, oil on canvas, 1964 <br> © The Artist's Estate Object of the Month - June 2012

Peter Greenham's Study for a Portrait of Her Majesty The Queen has always divided critics. The work was painted in 1964 and relates to a double portrait of The Queen and Prince Philip that the Welsh Guards commissioned in 1962.
 
image of AST3975 Object of the Month - July 2012

The Royal Academy was born when George III scribbled, 'I approve of this Plan, let it be put into execution' at the foot of a large, though un-showy, document of four pages - subsequently known as the Instrument of Foundation.
 
image of AST3987 Object of the Month - August 2012

This highly detailed drawing depicts a plaster-cast reproduction of the famous classical sculpture known as The Wrestlers or The Pancrastinae. The marble statue was discovered in Rome in 1583, when it was quickly bought by Cardinal Ferdinando de' Medici and formed part of the Uffizi in Florence from around 1688.
 
Mary Moser, <i>Summer</i>, oil on canvas, ca.1780 <br>© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - September 2012

Mary Moser RA received her artistic education from her father. Although she painted many scenes from Classical and English literature she gained a reputation as a flower painter.
 
Engraved by John Thompson after William Holman Hunt, <i>The Lady of Shalott</i>, wood engraving,  published in <I>Poems by Alfred Tennyson, D.C.L.,  Poet Laureate. ... </I>, London 1857 Object of the Month - October 2012

This dramatic and sensuous evocation of Tennyson's heroine, the Lady of Shalott, was published in a famous volume, the Moxon Tennyson, in 1857. The dilemma she embodies, the conflict between the constraints of duty and the lure of life and desire was to obsess Holman Hunt for most of his life.
 
Anatomical Crucifixion (James Legg). Plaster cast, wooden cross, 1801 <br>© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - November 2012

This gruesome figure was cast from the corpse of a murderer taken straight from the gallows to be nailed to a cross and flayed in order to settle an artistic debate. This was done at the request of three Royal Academicians - sculptor Thomas Banks and painters Benjamin West and Richard Cosway.
 
Norman Ackroyd RA, <i>St Kilda - Stac Lee and Stac an Armin</i>, etching and aquatint, 1990<br> © Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - December 2012

The artist Norman Ackroyd RA first travelled to St Kilda in July 1989, after previous attempts were thwarted by the 'hostility and unpredictability of the Northern Atlantic.' Ackroyd produced a number of works depicting St Kilda as a result of this trip.
 
Michael Angelo Rooker ARA, <i>The Gatehouse of Battle Abbey</i>, pencil and watercolour on paper, 1792 <br> © Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - Jan 2013

Michael Rooker was born in London in 1746. From 1779 onwards he was chief scenery painter at the Haymarket Theatre in London. During this time, he also worked as a watercolourist and engraver taking sketching tours each summer.
 
Richard Long RA, <i>Heaven and Earth</i>, text piece, 2001.
© The artist. Photo: RA Object of the Month - Feburary 2013

Richard Long's Heaven and Earth is not a visual depiction of a landscape. He has asserted that he wanted to find 'new ways' of using nature in his work, and this gradually 'evolved into the idea of making a sculpture by walking'.
 
David Wilkie Wynfield  <i>Portrait of Edouard Manet</i>, albumen print, ca.1868
© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - March 2013

It is likely that this compelling portrait of Edouard Manet was made during the summer of 1868 when he was visiting London to explore the possibility of selling his work in Britain.
 
Alfred Ansell, <i>Life drawing of a reclining male nude</i>, black chalk on wove paper, April-May 1886  <br>© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - April 2013

This painstaking chalk study of a male nude won a prize for life drawing at the Royal Academy Schools in 1886. Inscriptions on the sheet itself reveal that the student, Alfred Ansell, spent around twenty four hours in total on the drawing during April and May of that year.
 
Henry Herbert La Thangue RA, <i>Violets for Perfume</i>, oil on canvas, c. 1913
© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - May 2013

The Times obituary in 1929 remembered La Thangue for his 'vigorous representations of Mediterranean subjects' painted 'generally in dappled light and a strongly personal note in the colour, bronze and violet predominating'.
 
William Scott RA, <i>Still Life with Pears</i>, oil on canvas, 1957<br>© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - June 2013

William Scott's Still Life with Pears exemplifies the still life painting for which the artist is best known. Scott strove to achieve what he once called 'beauty in plainness'.
 
image of AST13735 Object of the Month - July 2013

Richard Doyle filled almost every page of this catalogue with playful pen and ink sketches after visiting the Royal Academy's summer exhibition in 1850. Many of the drawings are caricatures, parodies and flights of fancy inspired by the works of art on display, including sketches relating to John Everett Millais's painting Ferdinand Lured by Ariel and William Holman Hunt's A converted British family sheltering a priest from the persecution of the druids.
 
John William Waterhouse, RA, 
<i>A Mermaid</i>, oil on canvas, 1900
<br>© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the month - August 2013

John William Waterhouse was very interested in the mythology of the mermaid as an enchantress. Mermaids traditionally were sirens who lured sailors to their death through their captivating song.
 
Sir Alfred East RA, <i>Evening in the Cotswolds</i>, oil on canvas, ca.1913 <br>© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - September 2013

Evening in the Cotswolds demonstrates the artist's belief that when painting a landscape an artist should build up the picture in broad masses rather than focus on details.
 
Sir Bertram Mackennal, RA (1863-1931)
<i>Dawn of a New Age</i> 1924
Bronze
© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - October 2013

Sir Bertram Mackennal was elected an RA in 1922 and was the first Australian artist to become a Royal Academician. His Diploma work Dawn of a New Age was executed in 1924.
 
Harold Knight RA, Ethel Bartlett, oil on canvas, ca. 1937<br>© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - November 2013

Ethel Bartlett and her husband Rae Robertson were a famous piano duo. They taught at the Matthay School of Music and in the 1920s to 1950s toured widely in Europe and America. The couple became good friends with Harold and Laura Knight in the 1920s, when they lived in London.


 
© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - December 2013

Adrian Berg repeatedly painted views of the park from his studio which overlooking Gloucester Gate. This was part of a broad artistic exploration of many British parks and gardens, revealing an interest in human interventions in nature.


 
Joseph Farquharson RA, <i>'When Snow the Pasture Sheets'</i>, oil on canvas, 1915 <br>©Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - January 2014

Farquharson was a landscape painter who was celebrated for his winter scenes, which he infused with a strong sense of atmosphere and mood.
 
Terry Setch RA, <i>Smoked Out</i>, mixed media, 1989<br>© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - February 2014

Setch painted Smoked Out for the exhibition Images of Paradise which examined the destruction of Brazilian rainforests and the habitat of the Yanomami Indians. The title refers to the smoke from fires used to clear trees for mining.
 
Mark Fisher RA, <i>An Orchard in the Spring</i>, oil on canvas, c.1920 <br> © Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - March 2014

In 1910, C. Lewis Hind in the Art Journal, summarised Mark Fisher's working practice thus: 'He just walks out, sees something, feels an irresistible desire to paint it, and proceeds to paint it in the open air.'
 
Craigie Aitchison RA, <i>Crucifixion 1988/89</i> oil on canvas,1988-89 <br>© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - April 2014

Craigie Aitchison has said, 'I think the story of the Crucifixion is one of the most exciting in the Bible.' It is fitting that the work which Aitchison's presented to the Royal Academy should address this subject which was one of the most prevalent themes in his work.
 
Attributed to Rosso Fiorentino, after Michelangelo, <i>Leda and the Swan</i>, 1530s <br>© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the month - June 2014

One of the treasures of the Royal Academy Collections is now on display in a new exhibition about Michelangelo at the Capitoline Museum in Rome.
 
David Hockney RA, Double Study for 'A Closer Grand Canyon', oil on canvas, 1998. © Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - July 2014

David Hockney RA, (b. 1937), Double Study for 'A Closer Grand Canyon', oil on canvas, 1998
These two canvases are a study for a panoramic work, A Closer Grand Canyon, which was made up of 96 individual canvases and painted in 1998.
 
Gilbert Ledward RA <i>View of the Italian town of Nonantola near Modena</i>, pen and brown ink on wove paper, 30 July 1914 <br>© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - August 2014

This sketch shows a view of the Italian town of Nonantola near Modena from a sketchbook used by the young sculptor Gilbert Ledward just before the outbreak of the First World War in July and August 1914.
 
L. S. Lowry RA, <i>Station Approach</i>, oil on canvas, 1962 © Royal Academy of Arts, London. Object of the Month - September 2014

L.S. Lowry (1887-1976) is remembered for his highly individual portrayals of industrial Manchester and Salford. His considerable output, which also included landscapes, coastal scenes and figure studies, is particularly remarkable given that he held down a full-time job as a rent collector for over 40 years. Lowry kept this occupation secret to avoid being known as a 'Sunday painter' , often painting his canvases late into the night. Unsurprisingly, he described this pursuit as 'damned hard work'.
 
<i>Smugglerius</i>, plaster, c.1834, cast by William Pink from original cast of 1776 supervised by Agostino Carlini RA<br>© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - October 2014

Dr William Hunter, first Professor of Anatomy at the Royal Academy Schools, commissioned the sculptor Agostino Carlini RA to cast the corpse of a muscular smuggler fresh from the gallows, which was posed as the Roman statue the 'Dying Gaul'.
 
Allen Jones RA, Spice Island, monoprint, 1986. © Royal Academy of Arts, London. Object of the Month - November 2014

Allen Jones RA, Spice Island, monoprint, 1986
Jones's art takes as its subject the interrelation between male and female figures. His themes have included circus dancers, nightclubs, the stage, parties, the artist and model, and the pianist and performer.
 
Sir John Arnesby Brown RA,  The Raincloud, oil  on canvas, c. 1915. Object of the Month - December 2014

Sir John Arnesby Brown RA, (1866-1955), The Raincloud, oil on canvas, ca. 1915
When The Raincloud was exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 1915 it was described as 'vigorous' and 'most convincing in its power'.
 
Barbara Rae RA, <i>Winter Light, Lammermoor</i>, acrylic and collage on canvas, 1997<br>© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - January 2015

This painting was based on drawings made in January and February 1997 at the Lammermuir Hills in Scotland.
 
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema RA (1836-1912), Miss Anna Alma-Tadema, oil on canvas,  1883 © Royal Academy of Arts, London. Object of the Month - February 2015

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema RA (1836-1912), Miss Anna Alma-Tadema, oil on canvas, 1883
Born in Holland in 1836, Lawrence Alma-Tadema studied in Antwerp under the artist-archaeologist Louis De Taye and painter Baron Henri Leys before moving to England in 1870.

This portrait shows his daughter Anna, aged 15, in the family home, Townshend House. She stands looking towards the hallway with her back to the area where her step-mother's studio and the conservatory were located.
 
Sir Joshua Reynolds PRA (1723-1792) <i>Studio Experiments in Colour and Media</i>, oil on canvas, c. 1770s-1780s (?)<br> © Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - March 2015

Reynolds was well-known amongst his contemporaries for his bold experimentation with painting techniques and media. This canvas was used by Reynolds to test different combinations of colours and varnishes.
 
A.K. Lawrence RA, <i>Persephone</i>, oil on panel, 1938 <br>© Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - April 2015

In this work, Lawrence depicts the figure of Persephone. In Ancient Greek mythology, Persephone was the daughter of Demeter, goddess of fertility.
 
Fishing Rod belonging to JMW Turner RA, c. late-eighteenth to mid-nineteenth century <br> © Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - May 2015

This fishing rod belonged to JMW Turner, for whom fishing was his favourite recreation. He often went fishing on the banks of the Thames and at Petworth House, where he used this rod at the house's lake.
 
Camille Pissarro, (1830-1903), <i>Paysannes Assises</i>, pastel, around 1885<br> © Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - June 2015

In October 1999, the Royal Academy received a bequest of 150 works from Carel Weight RA, one of which was this beautiful pastel 'Paysannes Assises' (Seated Peasants in an Orchard) by the French Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro.
 
image of AST13860 Object of the Month - July 2015

Michael Craig-Martin RA is co-ordinator of this year's Summer Exhibition. His Self-Portrait (Aqua) shows his characteristic intense and vivid use of colour.
 
image of AST13871 Object of the Month - August 2015

Robert Buhler was born in London to Swiss parents. His work High Alps, Switzerland displays his characteristic use of a limited palette with composition based on geometric forms and order.
 
Chris Wilkinson RA, <i>Design model of the Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Hampshire</i>, acrylic and photopolymer resin; figures; polystyrene, 2006 Object of the Month - September 2015

Chris Wilkinson's Diploma work Design model of the Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth showcases his design for the new Mary Rose Museum, created to house the remains of the Tudor warship.
 
Plaster cast after marble original by Francesco Laurana (c. 1430-1502), c. 1473, <i> Bust of a woman, possibly Ippolita Maria Sforza</i>, plaster, 19th century<br> © Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - October 2015

The RA collection includes an extensive array of plaster casts, taken from celebrated sculptures of the antique and Renaissance periods. THis cast is after a marble original by the Italian artist Francesco Laurana (c. 1430-1502), who is most noted for his series of portrait busts of women which he executed while at the court of Naples during the 1470s.
 
Bill Jacklin RA, (1943-), <i>Ice Rink, 3pm</i>, oil on canvas, 1992<br> © Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - November 2015

Through his paintings, drawings and engravings, Bill Jacklin has obsessively pursued an exploration of light and darkness in all its possible forms.
 
The Christmas Party / colour line-block reproducing a full-page illustration by Charles Robinson from Evelyn Sharp's <I>The Child's Christmas,</I> London: Blackie & Son, [1906], p. [169]. Object of the Month - December 2015

The late-nineteenth century witnessed the boom of the illustrated children's book market. New technical innovations in printing and colour illustration encouraged the production of the 'gift-book', which was incredibly popular during the holiday season.The huge increase in book publications around the Christmas period, together with the growing fashion for exchanging gifts, firmly associated children's books with Christmas.
 
Sir George Clausen RA, (1852-1944), <i> Landscape with snow, Carency </i>, watercolour and pencil on wove paper, probably late January 1919<br> © Royal Academy of Arts, London. Object of the Month - January 2016

During the First World War, Clausen was appointed as an official war artist. He visited Carency in late January 1919 to research his painting for the Candian War Memorials Fund. Carency is a village north of the city of Arras where Canadian troops were deployed during the First World War in the battle to re-capture Vimy Ridge from the Germans in 1917.
 
Basil Beattie, RA (b.1935), Never Before, oil and wax on flax, 2001.  © Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - February 2016

Basil Beattie RA, Never Before, oil and wax on flax, 2001
Although the influence of American abstract expressionist painters was strong on Beattie's work, he continued to make reference to the visible world. From the 1980s this often took the form of spatial components such as steps, doors, tunnels or shapes which resembled ziggurats. These paintings explored abstract pictorial spaces and the associated feelings that they engendered.

 
Mick Rooney RA, <i>Shangri-La, 1990</i>, Acrylic and oil on card, 1990. © Royal Academy of Arts, London. Object of the Month - March 2016

Mick Rooney RA, Shangri-la, 1990, acrylic and oil on card, 1990

Shangri-la, 1990 is typical of Rooney's work with its crowded, heaving host of imagined characters painted with great warmth and humour which creates a striking, magical atmosphere. The bustling figures within the painting are both vivid and unusual, resembling the Commedia dell`arte troupes of 15th and 16th century Italy
 
Yinka Shonibare RA, Object of the Month - April 2016

Yinka Shonibare was elected an Academician in 2013. He has recently completed a wrap work enclosing the facade of Burlington Gardens, while it undergoes restoration in preparation for the Royal Academy's 250th anniversary.
 
Gerard Edelinck, (1640-1707), after Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) <i>The  Battle of Anghiari</i>, engraving, about 1660<br> © Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - May 2016

Anghiari, a small medieval town in Tuscany, was the site of a famous victory in 1440 of the Florentines over the Milanese. Gérard Edelinck's engraving depicts the only known section of an ambitious mural project commissioned from Leonardo da Vinci to commemorate the battle, intended to decorate the Council Hall of the Palazzo Vecchio, the seat of government in Florence.

 
Leonard Manasseh RA, <i>Design for Radipole Lake pumping station, for Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, Weymouth, Devon: plan, elevation and section</i>, pencil, grey, blue and turquoise crayon added and two paper labels, printed with black ink, added and two paper labels, printed with black ink, 9 April 1979 © Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - June 2016

Leonard Manasseh RA celebrates his 100th birthday this year, and is our first centenarian Royal Academician.
 
Henry Tuke RA, (1858-1929),<i> July Sun</i>, oil on canvas, 1913<br> © Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - July 2016

Henry Tuke is best known for his paintings of the male nude outdoors, particularly spontaneous oil sketches such as July Sun, which established his reputation and led to his election as a Royal Academician.
 
Frederic Lord Leighton PRA, Leaf from a sketchbook, depicting a standing female figure viewed from the back, pencil on wove paper, 1870s or early 1880s © Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - August 2016

Draughtsmanship was an essential part of Leighton's artistic practice and he placed great value on his drawings. The Royal Academy has over 40 sketchbooks owned and used by Leighton throughout his career, dating from the early 1850s when he first began exhibiting at the Summer Exhibition, up until the 1890s, when he was one of the most distinguished and successful artists of the Victorian period and President of the Royal Academy.

 
image of AST13963 Object of the Month - September 2016

The sculpture depicts a scene from the story of 'Cupid and Psyche' by John Gibson who was Britain's most celebrated sculptor during the mid-19th century
 
Sir William Chambers RA, <i>Design for a capital illustrating the origins of the Corinthian order</i>, c.1757-70 <br> © Royal Academy of Arts, London Object of the Month - October 2016

This highly decorative design for a capital represents the Corinthian order: the last and most ornate of the three classical orders of ancient Greek and Roman architecture.
 
Gillian Ayres RA, <i>Salix</i>, 1990-91 Object of the Month - November 2016

Ayres' paintings, enhanced by expressive titles, encourage viewers to read figurative associations into her imagery. In this case, the title 'salix', combined with the bold and colourful shapes suggests flora.
 
image of AST13766 Object of the Month - December 2016

Farquharson grew up between Edinburgh and Finzean in Scotland becoming Laird of Finzean in 1918. It was here the painter created many of his famed wintery countryside scenes.
 
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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.'
 
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Meredith Frampton RA (1894-1984), Still Life, 1932

The artist's starting point for this work was a stone bust that he inherited from his father. The sullen expression gave Frampton the tone for the entire painting: that of anger and unease. This head, gazing out of the picture plane draws the viewer into the rest of the imagery. Frampton's nostalgic symbolism was typical of the inter-war years, which simultaneously aspired to, and mourned the loss of, classicism's sense of order. Frampton's is not an idealised classicism however, the bust is chipped, the vase broken, the flowers wilted and the trees are severed.
 
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Eileen Agar RA (1899-1991), Collective Unconscious, 1977-78

In her autobiography A Look at my Life (1988), Eileen Agar said that as an artist 'one must have a hunger for new colour, new shapes and new possibilities of discovery'. The lyricism and vibrant colouring of Collective Unconscious is representative of her late work. The composition combines Surrealist elements with its abstracted 'cut-out' forms and painterly surface. Grid-like geometry is disrupted with diagonal lines and organic forms.
 
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Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564), The Virgin and Child with the Infant St John, c.1504-05

The Virgin and Child with the Infant St John, known as the 'Taddei Tondo' is the only sculpture in marble by Michelangelo Buonarroti in a UK collection. The infant figure of St John the Baptist stands to the left with his attribute of a baptismal bowl. He presents what may be a dove or a goldfinch to the infant Christ, who momentarily turns towards his mother, symbolically anticipating his future destiny.
 
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Henry Tuke RA (1858-1929), A Bathing Group, 1914

Tuke was raised in Cornwall and initially studied at the Slade School of Art and then in Florence from 1880-81. It was here that he developed his painting style for which he would become known: spontaneous oil studies made outdoors.
 
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Ian Ritchie RA's Diploma Work

Upon election to the Royal Academy, artists and architects have to give a work to the collection, known as their Diploma Work. Architect Ian Ritchie RA, who turns 70 this month, is unique in presenting an evolving Diploma Work, which he adds to over time.
 
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Yinka Shonibare MBA RA, Cheeky Little Astronomer, 2013

Cheeky Little Astronomer was commissioned for an exhibition at the Astronomer Royal's apartments, part of the Royal Observatory Greenwich. The sculpture is one of Shonibare's Planets in my Head series, in which the heads of figures have been replaced by globes.
 
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Bill Woodrow RA, Fingerswarm, 2000

Bill Woodrow RA held a swarm of bees on his bare hand at a beekeeping course, sparking the idea for his surreal sculpture, Fingerswarm: a swarm of bees surmounting three fingers. Woodrow explains the title is a deliberate pun: '"Finger-swarm" is "Fingers-warm". It works because there are three fingers not just one'.
 
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Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema RA, A Family Group, 1896

Lawrence Alma-Tadema gave A Family Group to his wife Laura (née Epps) as a present for their silver wedding anniversary. Laura and her brother and sisters are shown inspecting a painting that symbolises the relationship between husband and wife.