Accademia di San Luca, Rome

   Founded in Rome in 1593, the Accademia di San Luca was an association of artists dedicated to St. Luke, who was believed to have painted the true portrait of the Virgin Mary. It replaced the medieval Guild of Painters, Miniaturists, and Embroiderers, which by now had become antiquated. Its establishment was inspired by the Accademia del Disegno, founded in Florence in 1562 under the protection of Cosimo I de' Medici. In turn, the Accademia di San Luca inspired the establishment of the French Academy of Painting and Sculpture in 1648. The purpose of the Accademia was to provide artists with instruction and to regulate standards. The educational curriculum it offered included classes in perspective, fore-shortening, anatomy, and drawing from both the nude and plaster casts taken from ancient statuary. It also became a place for artists to gather and discuss art theory. It was here that Pietro da Cortona and Andrea Sacchi debated the proper depiction of history scenes in c. 1630.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

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