Royal Academy Art Hierarchy

The royal academy of art was founded in the year 1648 in France. The royal academy was thereafter considered as a significant part of the monarchy. The kings and the ruling parties analyzed the fact that; the art was a good means of understanding and managing the public opinion.

The royal academy was therefore depicted as an important political asset. The royal academy efficiently controlled the different aspects such as teaching and learning process of art and exhibiting the art at periodic intervals of time. This act of organizing an exhibition of art at a certain interval of time is known as the ‘Salon’. In this particular journal, we will discuss in details about the Royal academy art hierarchy.

There exists a hierarchy of genre and the subject matter in the Royal academy. According to the hierarchy, there are different types of genres such as History painting, Portraiture, Genre painting, Landscape painting, Animal painting and Still life painting. The history paintings are placed in the highest position in the hierarchy Structure. The still life paintings are at the lower levels of the hierarchy.

Royal Academy Art Hierarchy
Royal Academy Art Hierarchy

History painting

The historical paintings include noble historic moments, ancient mythologies and biblical subjects. The paintings are intended for display in the public places such as churches, gallery walls and at events like annual Salons. The emblematic paintings that display the symbolic messages about the good and evil are given the highest designation under the category of historical paintings.


The Portraiture of the portrait painting is the next highest genre in the Royal academy art hierarchy. The students have to pass through a rigorous course of training to master the portrait painting skill. Generally, the students start with drawing from the plaster casts and copying the already established portraits before working with the live models. The large sized and full length portraits are highly priced and are also called as swagger painting.

Genre painting

The genre painting includes scenes from the everyday life. These may contain people, landscapes, animals and their combinations. Normally, a genre painting has a person or a group of people performing certain activities.

Landscape painting

Landscape painting is in the fourth position in the Royal academy art hierarchy. In the landscape paintings, there are no human figures. These paintings include everything that can be found in physical geography such as cityscapes, Waterscapes and seascapes. The landscape painting differs from the portrait painting in the fact that; landscape paintings are more in width and less in height, while the portrait paintings are less in width and more in height.

Animal painting

Among the various animal paintings, the horse paintings are more popular. The animal paintings were ranked low due to the late inclusion in the hierarchical system. But, the animal painters are honored and valued as like the painters of the other genre.

Still life painting

The still life paintings do not contain any living objects. They are small scale paintings and do not require much imagination. However, these are also an important part of the Royal academy art hierarchy.

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