Labor et Ingenium [Royal Academy Diploma]

Method Copper engraving
Artist Francesco Bartolozzi after Giovanni Battista Cipriani
Published 1768 but 1857
Dimensions Image 622 x 445 mm, Plate 660 x 500 mm, Sheet 700 x 527 mm
Notes Frederick Richard Pickersgill's Royal Academy Diploma signed by Queen Victoria. Issued 13th December 1857.

The diploma was commissioned early on in the course of the Academy's foundation. The Scrapbooks preserved in the Royal Academy Library show that various artists submitted designs (RAA/SEC/1/19-22). Giovanni Battista Cipriani's design was chosen, and it was engraved by Francesco Bartolozzi. Within a fictive medallion, which is supported by Hercules and Genius (representing Strength and Inspiration), Cipriani's design shows a painter, sculptor and an architect at work between figures representing Minerva (with the lion) and The Royal Academy. The figure of Hercules resembles that in Bartolozzi's 1768 engraving after a painting by Annibale Carracci in the Royal Collection, his Virgin, Sleeping Child and St John the Baptist (known as Il Silenzio).

Bartolozzi produced three plates: one for the headpiece, and then two with differently worded inscriptions, one for the Academicians and, subsequently, another for the appointment of Associates. Like other surviving examples, Pickersgill's is assembled from two plates - one for the headpiece, and another for the inscription (engraved by another hand) - glued together horizontally across the centre.

Francesco Bartolozzi (1727-1815) was an Italian engraver. The son of a goldsmith, Bartolozzi studied painting in Florence, trained as an engraver in Venice and began his career in Rome. In 1763 Richard Dalton, art dealer and librarian to George III, met him and invited him to London, promising him a post as engraver to the king. Bartolozzi moved to London the following year, and remained for thirty-five years. He executed numerous engravings for the King. He also made many engravings of paintings by Italian masters and by his friend, the painter Giovanni Cipriani. In 1768 Bartolozzi was the only engraver to become a founder member of the Royal Academy of Arts. He moved to Lisbon in 1802 as director of the National Academy.

Frederick Richard Pickersgill RA (1820, London –1900) was an English painter and book illustrator. Born into a family of artists, he was admitted to the Royal Academy Schools in 1840 and became a full member upon receiving this diploma in 1857. He made book illustrations for the works of John Milton and Edgar Allan Poe. Pickersgill's The Burial of Harold was accepted as a decoration for the Houses of Parliament in 1847. His later works were influence of the Pre-Raphaelites, including finely executed scenes from nature. In 1856 Pickersgill was photographed at The Photography Institute by Robert Howlett, as part of a series of portraits of artists. The picture was among a group exhibited at the Art Treasures Exhibition in Manchester in 1857

Calabi + De Vesme 1981

Condition: Laid to board, small hole to top left of sheet, small surface abrasions to right.
Framing unmounted
Price £500.00
Stock ID 37770