Walk through hidden rooms at the Royal Academy

By Royal Academy of Arts

The RA's Fine Rooms were originally designed for lavish entertainment, but today they're used for events, meetings, and guided tours. Take a stroll through these ornate spaces online.

The Fine Rooms are a series of grand rooms on the first floor of the Royal Academy's Burlington House home. They were originally designed as sumptuous entertainment and hosting rooms for the Earl and Countess of Burlington (the building's first residents).

The Earl of Burlington summoned the painter William Kent from Rome to decorate the ceilings.

Displayed in this room are some of the RA's archive photos, showing visitors to the galleries from the 1920s to the 1970s.

This is the Slaughter Room, with portraits by Royal Academicians hanging on the walls.

Today the Fine Rooms are sometimes used for meetings, presentations, and other less glamorous events than originally intended, so excuse the mess!

In this room is a display of works by previous Keepers of the Royal Academy Schools.

The Keeper is a unique role held by an artist, and has been central to the running of the RA Schools since they were founded in 1769. The RA's Instrument of Foundation states that the Keeper should remain "constantly at Hand to preserve Order and Decorum".

In the 18th century, duties included selecting sculpture casts to be studied and providing models for life drawing classes. Since then, the Keeper's role has adapted to the changing (and challenging) requirements of young artists.

This is the Reynolds Room, with various landscapes painted by Royal Academicians on the walls.

This room was originally a bedroom, before becoming a stately dining room, and now the RA's General Assembly Room – a meeting chamber for the Academy’s governing body.

It's decorated with busts and portraits made by Royal Academicians throughout the organisation's history.

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