Googling into the Royal Academy

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The Royal Academy, currently closed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, is opening as it never has before.

The RA has made a deal with Google Arts and Culture which takes visitors virtually behind the scenes of the institution, which last year celebrated its 250th anniversary by doubling its space.

The Street View portal gives eight tours of the building, including “Hidden Rooms at the RA”, and there are chapters in the RA’s history introducing the founders and revealing some of the internal feuds – notably between Constable and Turner - via Google Arts & Culture.

Visitors can also explore masterpieces in the academy’s collection close up by artists ranging from Joshua Reynolds and Angelica Kauffman to Lubaina Humid and Lynn Chadwick, and including the Boltfraffio copy of Leonardo’s  famous mural of The Last Supper, pictured here.

“Especially in times of crisis, art galleries and museums should be places of community that provide inspiration, escape, solace, fun and consolation” said Axel Rüger, the RA’s chief executive. “The Royal Academy of Arts has existed to do that since 1768. At a time when our doors are sadly closed, we are delighted to continue that cultural exchange online, through Google Arts & Culture.”

Visit to explore.

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