The Great Spectacle: 250 Years of Summer Exhibition
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Since the far-off 1769, the Summer Exhibition has offered the latest in British Art: every year for two months, hundreds of paintings, engravings, drawings and sculptures make it to the walls of the Royal Academy of Arts like a gigantic collage, offering known and emerging artists alike an opportunity to compete, inspire and make a name. The oldest annual exhibition of contemporary art in the world has seen styles and tendencies come and go, it has seen the UK’s greatest talents grow and it has captured the interest of millions of visitors with a succession of prestigious locations, from Pall Mall to Piccadilly. The Royal Academy celebrates the 250th Edition with the exhibition The Great Spectacle, which retraces the life of the event, shedding light on its impact on the British and international art scenes. Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough, John Constable, J.M.W. Turner, John Singer Sargent, Tracey Emin, Zaha Hadid, David Hockney and Wolfgang Tillmans are just some of the great names which helped to write the history of the Summer Exhibition, today, the protagonist of an intriguing voyage rife with variety and beauty and still going strong after such a remarkably long adventure.