“The National Academy of Saint Luca aims to promote arts and architecture, to honor the merits of artists and scholars by electing them into the academic body, to work for the valorization and promotion of Italian art and architecture.” [Article 1 of the 2005 Statute]
Founded in 1593, the Academy has had the image of the evangelist Luca, painter and patron saint of artists, as its symbol since the 1600s. From 1705 onwards, the Academy has taken an equilateral triangle composed of paintbrush, ruler and compass, as its emblem, in order to express the equal dignity and unity of the three arts: painting, sculpture and architecture, under the aegis of drawing, as underscored by the Horatian motto of “aequa potestas” that accompanies the emblem. The Academy’s emblem takes on different forms throughout the centuries, although it always remained faithful to the original, until 1934 when a medallion depicting Saint Luca as he paints was adopted. To this day, the medallion is just as representative of the academic institution as the equilateral triangle.
The Academic body is divided into the three general categories of painting, sculpture and architecture and is made up of ninety National Academics and thirty foreign Academics; in addition, there are thirty-six “Cultori” (scholars) Academics, and twenty-four “Benemeriti” (well-deserving art and culture) Academics.
In respect of the Academy’s tradition, as well as on the basis of the recent statutes, the Institution promotes different cultural activities with the goal of valorizing the fine arts. The publishing of books on the Academy, on its history, and on the exhibits organized within its spaces are a portion of these activities. The artwork in the Academy’s collection (paintings, sculptures, drawings etc.) is restored and lent out for national and international exhibits.
The Academy’s rooms are used for book presentations, conferences, and conventions. The Academy focuses on young artists and scholars in particular through the distribution of scholarships and prizes. The Academy also publishes a periodic digest in which both the most recent initiatives and future activities are summarized.
How to get the Academy
The seat of the Academy of Saint Luca is now in Rome, in Piazza dell’Accademia di San Luca 77, near the Trevi fountain. The Academy can be reached on foot from the “Barberini” stop on the A line of the subway. From the Termini train station, it can be reached by Atac bus on lines 175 and 492.
Alternatively, it can be reached by the Atac buses with destination Piazza San Silvestro or with stops on Largo Tritone on the same line.