- Museum number
- Object: La Salle du modèle de l'Academie Imp Roy des Beaux Arts à Vienne
The life room of the Vienna Academy, with a male model under a lamp and members of the Academy engaged in copying him in their respective specialisms. 1790
- Production date
Height: 647 millimetres
Width: 797 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from Antony Griffiths and Frnaces Carey, 'German Printmaking in the Age of Goethe', BM 1994, no. 43 :
The Academy at Vienna was founded in 1705, and was thoroughly reformed in the early 1770s by Count Kaunitz, to whom as Protecteur de l'Académie this print was dedicated by Quadal. This almost forgotten painter of portraits and animal subjects was born in Moravia, and trained as a painter in Vienna. In 1767 he went to Paris, and began a career that took him all over Europe. Between 1771 and 1779 he was in London and then Dublin. In 1784 he went to Italy, and turned up in Rome and Naples. In 1787 he was back in Vienna; in 1791 he was in England again, exhibiting at the Royal Academy; in 1794 he was in Holland, and in 1796 in Hamburg. Finally in 1797 he moved to St Petersburg, where he became a member of the Academy and remained until his death.
Quadal's painting (still in the collection of the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Vienna) is dated 1787, and shows the scene in the life studio in the former Jesuit St Anna building which, after the suppression of the Jesuits, had been transferred in the previous year for the use of the Academy. The persons shown are all portraits: Quadal himself is in the foreground to the right of the centre, making the sketch for this painting. To his left, holding a portfolio, is the engraver Schmutzer (see 1856,0209.184). To his left is the sculptor Franz Zauner modelling, with the architect Ferdinand von Hohenberg standing under the lamp next to him. On the other side, painting a large canvas is Füger (see 1870,0625.152).
In 1788 J.G.Meusel published a report from a correspondent in Vienna dated 12 October 1788 (III pp.66-7)-This described the painting by Quadal which was on show for several weeks in the painter's own studio in Vienna. "Professor Jacobe . . . will also engrave this work of art on a sheet of royal-size paper in mezzotint, so that it will make a worthy counterpart to the famous London Academy after Zoffany, which one might call a representation from the theoretical point of view while this shows the practical side. The subscription for the print will remain open for three months; subscribers will pay one ducat in advance and another on delivery. They are promised the first and best impressions, and delivery by August 1788 [a misprint for 1789]. The subscriptions are taken by Herr Quadal at his address above, and receipts given." Both the painting and this print were exhibited together in the 1790 exhibition at the Academy.
Johann Zoffany's picture of the members of the Royal Academy in London in the life-class studio was almost certainly commissioned by George III in 1771 (and is still in the Royal collection). In the same way as Quadal's painting commemorates the move into the St Anna building, Zoffany's shows the new rooms in Somerset House into which the Royal Academy had moved at the beginning of 1771. Zoffany's painting had been engraved in mezzotint by Richard Earlom in 1773. The account in Meusel proves how well known this famous print was in Vienna. Quadal himself had probably seen the original painting during his years in London.
For a scratched letter proof, see 1902,1011.2811;
Also, ee Michels: 'Dei Chalcographische Gesellschaft in Dessau', p.231.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1994/5 Sept-Jan, BM, 'German Prinmaking in the Age of Goethe', no.. 43
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number