The Royal Academy of Arts, founded in 1768, is the oldest fine arts institution in Britain. Situated in the heart of London's West End on Piccadilly, it is universally renowned for hosting some of the capital's finest temporary and touring exhibitions. Its annual Summer Exhibition, running since the institution first opened, displays select work from up and coming artists and by academicians.
The academy's treasures, on permanent display in the lavish John Madeski Fine Rooms include paintings by members (Reynolds, Gainsborough, Constable, Turner), 18C furniture, Queen Victoria's paintbox, the only Michelangelo sculpture in the country, the unfinished marble tondo of the Madonna and Child, (outside the entrance of the Sackler Galleries) and the famous copy of Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper. The restaurant serves an appetising selection of hot and cold dishes and you can also enjoy light refreshments in the outdoor café during the warmer weather. Two shops, located adjacent to the galleries exits, sell merchandise inspired by the current exhibitions and the works of the Academicians, as well as a great selection of art books.