First Exhibition (1756)

London's first ever exhibition of living artists occurred during 1760, and was organised and hosted by the Royal Society of Arts. There were 130 paintings by 69 painters in the exhibition, including artists such as Reynolds, Wilson, Cosway and Roubiliac.[1]

The exhibition was considered a success. Hundreds of people visited, and although the Society had decided not to charge an entrance fee, the artists were left with a balance of £100 from the sale of catalogues.[2]


  1. History Timeline RSA Archived 1 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. Henry Trueman Wood, A History of the Royal Society of Arts, 1913

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