Room 45

Academic and Romantic Painters

In the first half of the 19th century, the academic teachings of the official art schools dominated European painting. Drawing the human body was central to the curriculum at these institutions. Students began their training by copying plaster casts of sculptures, and then progressed to life drawing classes. The goal of this education was to produce painters who could execute large-scale compositions of historical, mythological and religious subjects. Such paintings captured public attention when shown at official exhibitions, such as the Paris Salon or the Royal Academy in London.

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres was a particularly talented draughtsman whose paintings epitomised the classical and refined academic manner, then in official favour throughout Europe. The precise, linear styles of Francesco Hayez, Ary Scheffer and Frederic, Lord Leighton - active in Italy, France, and England - reflect similar concerns. The paintings of Eugène Delacroix, by contrast, exhibit a freedom of brushwork and an innovative use of colour to convey emotion that would influence generations of artists, including Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cézanne.

Paintings in this room

Gustave Courbet: 'Beach Scene'
Beach Scene
Gustave Courbet
Honoré-Victorin Daumier: 'Don Quixote and Sancho Panza'
Don Quixote and Sancho Panza
Honoré-Victorin Daumier
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas: 'Young Spartans Exercising'
Young Spartans Exercising
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas
Eugène Delacroix: 'Christ on the Cross'
Christ on the Cross
Eugène Delacroix
Eugène Delacroix: 'Louis-Auguste Schwiter'
Louis-Auguste Schwiter
Eugène Delacroix
Eugène Delacroix: 'Ovid among the Scythians'
Ovid among the Scythians
Eugène Delacroix
Jean-Louis-André-Théodore Géricault: 'A Horse frightened by Lightning'
A Horse frightened by Lightning
Jean-Louis-André-Théodore Géricault
Jean-Louis-André-Théodore Géricault: 'A Shipwreck'
A Shipwreck
Jean-Louis-André-Théodore Géricault
Francesco Hayez: 'Susanna at her Bath'
Susanna at her Bath
Francesco Hayez
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres: 'Angelica saved by Ruggiero'
Angelica saved by Ruggiero
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres: 'Madame Moitessier'
Madame Moitessier
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres: 'Monsieur de Norvins'
Monsieur de Norvins
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres: 'Oedipus and the Sphinx'
Oedipus and the Sphinx
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
Frederic, Lord Leighton: 'Cimabue's Celebrated Madonna'
Cimabue's Celebrated Madonna
Frederic, Lord Leighton
Johann Heinrich Ferdinand Olivier: 'Abraham and Isaac'
Abraham and Isaac
Johann Heinrich Ferdinand Olivier
Pierre-Cécile Puvis de Chavannes: 'Death and the Maidens'
Death and the Maidens
Pierre-Cécile Puvis de Chavannes
Pierre-Cécile Puvis de Chavannes: 'Summer'
Pierre-Cécile Puvis de Chavannes
Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld: 'Ruth in Boaz's Field'
Ruth in Boaz's Field
Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld