Academic art refers to art work that was created by an artist taught in an academy or mimics the appearance of academy work. During the nineteenth century, art academies became increasingly conservative and closed to innovation. They tended to resist the growth and change in art around them, turning away from movements such as naturalism, realism and impressionism. The term academic is now associated with art that ignores innovation and modernism and is often labelled as old-fashioned.
The image shows a section of the painting 'Pitlessie Fair' by David Wilkie