Academy of Arts or Art Academies are special institutions established specially for instructing artists. An Academy of Arts also serves as an exhibition hall for students and seasoned artists. Some of the most influential Academies of Art are supported by the state.
Origin of Academy of Arts:
The world’s first Academy of Art was established in Florence, Italy in 1562 by Giorgio Vasari. It was called the Accademia del Disegno. The students at the Accademia del Disegno learnt “arti del disegno” which included lectures on anatomy and principles of geometry. The term “arti del disegno” was coined by Giorgio Vasari. A decade later the Accademia di San Luca was founded in Rome. It was named after the patron saint of painters, St. Luke. The Accademia di San Luca was more concerned with art theory and served more educational functions than the Accademia del Disegno.
Later Academies of Arts:
The Royal academy of Painting and Sculpture established in France in 1648 used the Accademia di San Luca as a model. The term “arti del disegno” was adopted by the French academy. Translated into French the term meant “beaux arts” which in turn is a derivative of the English term “Fine Arts”. Painter Charles LeBrun was appointed as the director of French Academy in 1683. He introduced a new curriculum including lectures on anatomy, geometry and perspective. The classes followed a strict schedule with life classes in the morning during summer and in the afternoon during winter.
Work and Purpose of an Academy of Arts:
The Academies of Art examine works of art according to established categories and analyze them in order of invention, proportion, color, expression and composition. The system of analyzing art was started during the early 18th century. The artists were given grades from 0 to 80 based on their composition, design, color and expression.
An Academy of Art awards prizes to outstanding artists. The academies ensure that the goal of an artist is to achieve perfection in his or her artwork. The academies, especially the French Academy, set classical and antique art as a standard for achievements in the future.