Thomas Rowlandson
A Bench of Artists 1776

Artwork details

Thomas Rowlandson 1756–1827
A Bench of Artists
Date 1776
Medium Ink and graphite on paper
Dimensions Support: 272 x 548 mm
Acquisition Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

This comic image of students at the Royal Academy Schools is Rowlandson's earliest dated drawing. The students are seated
at a semi-circular bench, used when drawing from living models.


Rowlandson was admitted to the Schools
in November 1772. He was apparently
a disruptive presence in the life class.
On one occasion he fired his peashooter
at the female model,


which making her start, she threw herself entirely out of position, and interrupted the gravity of the study for the whole evening. For this offence, Master Rowlandson went near to getting himself expelled'.

September 2004