Academic art refers to the art which was produced in line with the defined doctrine and dogma of the established academies of painting and sculpture. These academies controlled, and some might say constrained, the art world from the early seventeenth century through to the nineteenth century.
Within the academies, both classical painting and ancient art were extolled for their benefits - in terms of technique, quality, style, ability and mastery of the subject matter, artist's such as Raphael, Leonardo and Titian were used as examples of this high art. Poussin and Caravaggio were other artists which were used in training art students. The ultimate goal was to produce History Painters, through compositional studies.