Casts

I have been trying to remember the history of the casts in the Royal Academy.   Some of them may survive from when George Michael Moser first established a new Academy in Richard Dalton’s print room on Pall Mall and commandeered some of the casts which had been acquired for William Hogarth’s St. Martin’s Lane Academy.   William Hamilton supplied a group from his collection in Naples.   Some were made specially for the collection in the late eighteenth century when, for example, a smuggler was made into a cast by Agostino Carlini (currently in loan to the Museum Leuven in Belgium) and James Legg, a Chelsea pensioner, was cast by Thomas Banks straight off the scaffold in 1802.   A group of casts was bought by Thomas Banks and John Flaxman from the sale of Romney’s collection on April 1801.   More were donated by the Prince of Wales from the Vatican.   And a collection of architectural casts was bought from the architect John Sandars in 1830 (see Julia Lenaghan, ‘The cast collection of John Sandars, architect, at the Royal Academy’, Journal of the History of Collections 2014, pp.193-205).   Together they make up one of the best and most historic collections of casts.   They will be back on display when the building work is completed.

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3 thoughts on “Casts

  1. Charles can we have a little booklet made with images and text by yourself on the history of the casts, to be published on their return?
    You could choose some beautiful and appropriate paper for the print run.
    I am sure it would sell like hotcakes and would be a wonderful gift to give potential schools sponsors etc and as part of the 2018 celebrations. Is anyone photographing their removal and storage. Good little project to get sponsored by one of your schools patrons!

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