From about July 1779 Blake was a probationer in the Royal Academy Schools, hoping to become a student there. He would have made drawings from casts of classical sculptures, such as the one shown in room 7.
Blake’s drawing skills clearly met the Academicians’ standards and he became a student in October 1779. This drawing seems to be taken from one of the Academy’s casts of figures from the ancient Greek sculptures known as the Niobe Group. Its careful rendering of light and shade is in the style expected of Academy students at the time.