The Royal College of Music (RCM), one of the foremost music conservatoires, has an internationally significant collection of paintings celebrating music, musicians and patrons of music. Founded in 1883 under the auspices of the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) and the directorship of Sir George Grove to prepare gifted young musicians for entry into the highest echelons of the music profession, the RCM soon attracted gifts and bequests of works of art that complemented its other important collections of manuscripts, concert programmes, archives, photographs and historical musical instruments. The RCM has also commissioned a number of portraits of people closely associated with the College, including Ralph Vaughan Williams and Herbert Howells, and has also purchased a few important paintings. A selection of portraits is on public display in the RCM Museum during term time and during the summer vacation. The College’s art collection includes notable portraits of the Czech pianist and composer Jan Ladislav Dussek, by Henri-Pierre Danloux; the world-famous castrato Farinelli, by Bartolomeo Nazari; and Joseph Haydn, painted by Thomas Hardy during the composer’s first visit to London in 1791.
Not all locations are open to the public. Please contact the gallery or collection for more information.
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