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The Royal Academy of Arts is No.7 in our list of London’s best art galleries.
The Royal Academy of Arts occupies Burlington House – one of the few remaining Piccadilly mansions. It was built for the Earl of Burlington in 1768, and sold to the British Government in 1854. It was then leased to the Royal Academy and became the country’s very first art school.
The Royal Academy is made up of eighty academics, elected to one of the following three disciplines: painting, sculpture or architecture. Each member is also obliged to donate a piece of their own work to the collection, so the walls are swelled with works by Turner, Gainsborough, Chambers and West.
The Summer Exhibition has been held at the Royal Academy of Arts every year since 1769. This annual event is staged in June, July and August, and is open to all aspiring artists. Everyone is free to submit a picture, and the best get hung upon the gallery walls.
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If you enjoy this then try: Courtauld Gallery (walk it in 20 mins or catch a train from Piccadilly Circus to Courtauld Gallery); National Gallery (you can walk it 10 mins); National Portrait Gallery (walk it in 12 mins or catch a train from Piccadilly Circus to National Portrait Gallery); Tate Britain (walk it in 28 mins or catch a train from Piccadilly Circus to Tate Britain) and Wallace Collection (walk it in 18 mins or catch a train from Piccadilly Circus to Wallace Collection).