Nudes drawn between the late 17th and 18th centuries are displayed alongside the Wallace Collection's French paintings of the same period.

Prior to the revolution, artistic practice in France was centred around the teachings of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in Paris, where the most important artists were sent to train.

Drawing of the male human figure was at the core of the curriculum and only after mastering the copying of engravings and casts of antique sculptures were the students allowed to progress to the life class.

These pictures became so associated with the school, they were referred to as 'académies'. Although the training was sometimes criticised for its rigour and insistence on discipline and uniformity, it produced some of the most skilled painters of the era, including Rigaud, Boucher, Nattier, Carle van Loo, Gros and Jean-Baptiste Isabey.

The 40 drawings which feature are on loan from the Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts,inherited directly from the archives of the Academy's teaching classes.

The Wallace Collection

Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, W1U 3BN

020 7563 9500


Opening times

Daily, including bank holidays, 10am – 5pm Closed 24 – 26 Dec

Free to all

20% off dining on Fridays and Saturdays, from 5pm.

Valid to 31 December 2018

Round off your visit to the Wallace Collection with a meal at Oliver Peyton's The Wallace Restaurant in the beautiful glazed courtyard. Show your National Art Pass to receive 20% off your bill for food and wine. This discount is available on Fridays and Saturdays, from 5pm. Booking required, see below for details.

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