Accademia di San Luca
The Accademia di San Luca, (the "Academy of Saint Luke") was founded in 1577 as an association of artists in Rome, under the directorship of Federico Zuccari
Federico Zuccari
Federico Zuccari, also known as Federigo Zuccaro , was an Italian Mannerist painter and architect, active both in Italy and abroad.-Biography:Zuccari was born at Sant'Angelo in Vado, near Urbino ....

, with the purpose of elevating the work of "artists", which included painters, sculptors and architects, above that of mere craftsmen. Other founders included Girolamo Muziano
Girolamo Muziano
Girolamo Muziano , was an Italian painter, active in a late-Renaissance or Mannerism style. He was born in Acquafredda, near Brescia, but active mainly in Rome....

 and Pietro Olivieri. The Academy was named after Saint Luke the evangelist who, legend has it, made a portrait of the Virgin Mary, and thus became the patron saint of painters' guilds.

From the late 16th century until it moved to its present location at the Palazzo Carpegna, it was based in an urban block by the Roman Forum and although these buildings no longer survive, the Academy church of Santi Luca e Martina
Santi Luca e Martina
Santi Luca e Martina is a church in Rome, Italy, situated between the Roman Forum and the Forum of Caesar and close to the Arch of Septimus Severus.-History:...

, does. Designed by the Baroque architect, Pietro da Cortona
Pietro da Cortona
Pietro da Cortona, by the name of Pietro Berrettini, born Pietro Berrettini da Cortona, was the leading Italian Baroque painter of his time and also one of the key architects in the emergence of Roman Baroque architecture. He was also an important decorator...

, its main facade overlooks the Forum.


The Academy's predecessor was the Compagnia di San Luca, a guild of painters and miniaturists, which had its statutes and privileges renewed at the much earlier date of December 17, 1478 by Pope Sixtus IV
Pope Sixtus IV
Pope Sixtus IV , born Francesco della Rovere, was Pope from 1471 to 1484. His accomplishments as Pope included the establishment of the Sistine Chapel; the group of artists that he brought together introduced the Early Renaissance into Rome with the first masterpiece of the city's new artistic age,...

. Included among its founding members, was the famous painter Melozzo da Forlì
Melozzo da Forlì
Melozzo da Forlì was an Italian Renaissance painter and architect. His fresco paintings are notable for the use of foreshortening. He was the most important member of the Forlì painting school.- Biography :...

, as he was the pictor papalis in that period.

In 1605, Pope Paul V granted the Academy the right to pardon a condemned man on the feast of St. Luke. In the 1620s, Urban VIII extended its rights to decide who was considered an artist in Rome and it came under the patronage of his nephew, Cardinal Francesco Barberini
Francesco Barberini (seniore)
Francesco Barberini was an Italian Catholic Cardinal. The nephew of Pope Urban VIII , he benefited immensely from the nepotism practiced by his uncle...

. In 1633, Urban VIII gave it the right to tax all artists as well as art-dealers, and monopolize all public commissions. These latter measures raised strong opposition and apparently were poorly enforced.

Over the early years, the papal authorities exerted large degree of control over the leadership of the institution. Some modern critics have stated "with the ostensible purpose of giving artists a higher education and the real one of asserting the Church's control over art,".

The prìncipi (directors) of the institution have included some of the pre-eminent painters of the 17th century, including Domenichino, Bernini, Cortona
Cortona is a town and comune in the province of Arezzo, in Tuscany, Italy. It is the main cultural and artistic center of the Val di Chiana after Arezzo.-History:...

 and Romanelli
Romanelli is a family name of Italian origin. The 1990 Census found that Romanelli was the 21,280th most common surname in the United States. Some people named Romanelli include:*Carl Romanelli , a Green Party activist in Pennsylvania...

. However, many prominent artists never joined or were admitted to the academy.

The Cortona-Sacchi Debate and other artistic issues

Artistic issues debated within the Academy included the Cortona-Sacchi controversy (see Andrea Sacchi
Andrea Sacchi
Andrea Sacchi was an Italian painter of High Baroque Classicism, active in Rome. A generation of artists who shared his style of art include the painters Nicolas Poussin and Giovanni Battista Passeri, the sculptors Alessandro Algardi and François Duquesnoy, and the contemporary biographer Giovanni...

for further details of this debate) about the number of figures in a painting. Disdain was espressed by many academicians for the Bamboccianti
The Bamboccianti were genre painters active in Rome from about 1625 until the end of the seventeenth century. Most were Dutch and Flemish artists who brought existing traditions of depicting peasant subjects from sixteenth-century Netherlandish art with them to Italy, and generally created small...


Giovanni Bellori gave famous lectures on painting in the Academy. In the early 18th century, the painter Marco Benefial
Marco Benefial
Marco Benefial was an Italian, proto-Neoclassical painter, mainly active in Rome. Benefial is best known for his repudiation of 18th century decorative Rococo styles pre-eminent in the Rome dominated by Carlo Maratta pupils....

 was inducted, and then expelled for criticizing the academy as an insider.

Recent times

The Academy is still active; the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca is its modern descendant. From the very beginning, the statutes of the Academy directed that each candidate-academician was to donate a work of his art in perpetual memory and, later, a portrait. Thus the Academy, in its current premises in the 16th-century Palazzo Carpegna, located in the Piazza dell'Accademia di San Luca, has accumulated a unique collection of paintings and sculptures, including about 500 portraits, as well as an outstanding collection of drawings.


Prominent artists to become Principi of the academy over the first 200 years include Cherubino Alberti
Cherubino Alberti
Cherubino Alberti , also called Borghegiano, was an Italian engraver and painter.-Biography:Alberti was born in 1553 in Borgo San Sepolcro, Tuscany , into family of artists...

, Baldassare Croce
Baldassare Croce
Baldassare Croce was an Italian painter, active during the late-Mannerist period, active mainly in and around Rome.Known as a prolific academic painter in Rome; he was named director of the Academy of St. Luke...

, Domenichino, Ottavio Leoni
Ottavio Leoni
Ottavio Leoni was an Italian painter and printmaker of the early-Baroque, active mainly in Rome.He was born in Rome, where he first trained with his father, Lodovico Leoni. He painted altarpieces for churches in Rome such as an Annunciation for Sant'Eustachio and a Virgin and child with St...

, Lazzaro Baldi
Lazzaro Baldi
Lazzaro Baldi was an Italian painter of the Baroque period, active mainly in Rome.-Biography:Baldi was born in Pistoia and died in Rome. He was part of the large studio of Pietro da Cortona, and became adept at fresco technique. He painted a David and Goliath for Alexander VII in the Palazzo...

 (1679-);Bernini, Paolo Guidotti, Domenico Guidi
Domenico Guidi
Domenico Guidi was a prominent Italian Baroque sculptor.Born in Carrara, Guidi followed his uncle, the prominent sculptor, Giuliano Finelli to Naples. As the nephew of a sculptor noted for his feud with Bernini, it is not surprising that Guidi was never employed by the eminent master...

, Pierre-Athanase Chauvin
Pierre-Athanase Chauvin
Pierre Athanase Chauvin was a French painter active in Italy.Chauvin was a student of the landscape painter Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes. He began his career at the Paris Salon in 1793 and won the First Class Medal in 1819 with his painting Charles VIII’s entry into Acquapendente...

 Luigi Garzi
Luigi Garzi
Luigi Garzi was an Italian painter of the Baroque period. Born in Pistoia, and died in Rome, where he was one of the main pupils of Andrea Sacchi. He is also often referred to as Ludovico Garzi. In 1680 Garzi was appointed Regent of the Congregazione dei Virtuosi al Pantheon, the papal honor...

, Antiveduto Grammatica
Antiveduto Grammatica
Antiveduto Grammatica was a proto-Baroque Italian painter, active near Rome.Grammatica was born in either Siena or Rome. According to Giovanni Baglione the artist was given the name Antiveduto because his father had a premonition that he would be soon be born during a journey between his native...

, Giovanni Francesco Grimaldi
Giovanni Francesco Grimaldi
Giovanni Francesco Grimaldi was an Italian architect and painter, named Il Bolognese from the place of his birth. Grimaldi was a relative of the Carracci family, under whom it is presumed he first apprenticed....

, Alessandro Turchi
Alessandro Turchi
Alessandro Turchi was an Italian painter of the early Baroque, born and active mainly in Verona, and moving late in life to Rome. He also went by the name Alessandro Veronese or the nickname L'Orbetto....

, Filippo Gagliardi
Filippo Gagliardi
Filippo Gagliardi was an Italian painter of the Baroque period, active mainly in Rome. He collaborated with Filippo Lauri and Andrea Sacchi. He also helped in the renovation of San Martino ai Monti . He contributed illustrated architectural perspectives to Ferrari's Hesperides and became principe...

, Filippo Lauri
Filippo Lauri
Filippo Lauri was an Italian painter of the Baroque period, active mainly in Rome.Born and active in Rome, his story was featured in the biographies by Baldinucci...

 (1684–5), Tommaso Maria Conca (1792–1795) Pietro da Cortona
Pietro da Cortona
Pietro da Cortona, by the name of Pietro Berrettini, born Pietro Berrettini da Cortona, was the leading Italian Baroque painter of his time and also one of the key architects in the emergence of Roman Baroque architecture. He was also an important decorator...

, Pier Francesco Mola
Pier Francesco Mola
Pier Francesco Mola was an Italian painter of the High Baroque, mainly active around Rome.-Biography:Mola was born at Coldrerio . At the age of four, he moved to Rome with his father Giovanni Battista, a painter...

, Filippo della Valle
Filippo della Valle
Filippo della Valle was an Italian late-Baroque or early Neoclassic sculptor, active mostly in Rome.-Biography:Della Valle was born in Florence....

, Carlo Marchionni
Carlo Marchionni
Carlo Marchionni was an Italian architect. He was also a sculptor and a virtuoso draughtsman, who mixed in the artistic and intellectual circles.-Biography:Marchionni was born in Rome....

, Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari
Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari
Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari , also known simply as Giuseppe Chiari, was an Italian painter of the late-Baroque period, active mostly in Rome....

, Carlo Cesi, Sebastiano Conca
Sebastiano Conca
Sebastiano Conca was an Italian painter.He was born at Gaeta, then part of the Kingdom of Naples, and apprenticed in Naples under Francesco Solimena. In 1706, along with his brother Giovanni, who acted as his assistant, he settled at Rome, where for several years he worked in chalk only, to...

, Simon Vouet
Simon Vouet
Simon Vouet was a French painter and draftsman, who today is perhaps best remembered for helping to introduce the Italian Baroque style of painting to France.-Life:...

, Charles Le Brun
Charles Le Brun
Charles Le Brun , a French painter and art theorist, became the all-powerful, peerless master of 17th-century French art.-Biography:-Early life and training:...

, Camillo Rusconi
Camillo Rusconi
Camillo Rusconi was an Italian sculptor of the late Baroque in Rome. His style displays both features of Baroque and Neoclassicism. He has been described as a Carlo Maratta in marble.-Biography:...

, Antonio Canova
Antonio Canova
Antonio Canova was an Italian sculptor from the Republic of Venice who became famous for his marble sculptures that delicately rendered nude flesh...

, Vincenzo Camuccini
Vincenzo Camuccini
Vincenzo Camuccini was an Italian painter of Neoclassic histories and religious paintings. He was considered the premier academic painter of his time in Rome.-Biography:...

, Filippo Agricola
Filippo Agricola
Filippo Agricola was an Italian painter of the 19th century, mainly active in Rome.He was born at Urbino but trained in the Accademia di San Luca in Rome. He became that institution's president in 1843. He also became director of the mosaic factory of the Vatican...

, Gasparo Landi, Hermann David Salomon Corrodi
Hermann David Salomon Corrodi
Hermann David Salomon Corrodi was an Italian painter of the 19th Century.Corrodi was born in Frascati and lived for many years in Rome." Corrodi studied at the Accademia di S. Luca under his father, Salomon Corrodi and in Paris...

, and Niccola Consoni.

The Academy can also boast modern members, including sculptors Ernesto Biondi
Ernesto Biondi
Ernesto Biondi was an Italian sculptor who won the grand prix at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris. In 1905 he sued the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art for breach of contract after they refused to display his Saturnalia...

 and Piccirilli Brothers
Piccirilli Brothers
The Piccirilli Brothers were a family of renowned marble carvers who carved a large number of the most significant marble sculptures in the United States, including Daniel Chester French’s colossal Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.-History:In 1888, Giuseppe Piccirilli , a...


External links

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