Academicism promoted Classical ideals of beauty and artistic perfection and established a clear hierarchy within the visual arts, preferring grand narrative or history painting and advocating life-drawing and classical sculpture.
George Stubbs - Whistlejacket (1762)
Stubb's Whistlejacket was an example of the meticulous attention to the figure which characterised Academic painting. Within the Academy tradition artists were expected to have a sound knowledge of anatomy.
Joshua Reynolds - Colonel Tarleton (1782)
Reynolds was one of the advocates of the 'grand manner' in painting. His Colonel Tarleton is a perfect example of the grand manner adapted for a portrait. The portrait displays Colonel Tarleton's military virtues - his nobility and bravery - and his personal triumph over everything base inhuman nature. His clothes are relatively plain and the activity in the background has been simplified to avoid any overt theatricality.