After the requests to the King of Spain from the artists and intellectuals of Barcelona, for the creation of an Academy of the Fine Arts in the city, similar to the one established in Madrid in 1752, finally the Particular Committee of Commerce - founded by Ferdinand VI in 1758 ad ratified by Charles III in 1760 - the responsible of the foundation of a School of Drawing in Barcelona, which opened in 1775, under the name of Escuela Gratuita de Diseño (Free School of Design), on the top floor of the historic building of la Lonja de Mar of Barcelona. Afterwards, in 1778, the Committee expanded its curriculum to include painting, sculpture and architecture, and changed its name to Escuela de Nobles Artes (School of Novelty Arts).
In 1838, the Secretary of Interior defended the authorization of the creation of the Academia de Barcelona, so that the academy was able to issue a degree in architecture. Despite of this, it was not until after the Juntas de Comercio (Committee of Commerce) became purely consultive institutions in 1847, that a Royal Decree of Elizabeth II of October 31st 1849 created the Academias Provinciales de Bellas Artes (Academies of Fine Arts of the Provinces), as consultive organizations of the State in artistic matters of the provinces, with the responsibility of watching over the patrimony, encouraging the study of the Fine Arts and, fundamentally, managing its teaching in the different locations around the State. In 1850 was constituted the Academia de Bellas Artes de Barcelona (the Academy of Fine Arts of Barcelona), who managed the School since then on, both sharing their headquarters on the second floor of la Lonja.
In 1900 the disengagement between the School and the Academy was effective according to a Royal Decree of July 8th 1892.
In 1928, the Academy was named Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Jorge (Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Saint George) and, later, in 1930 Real Academia Catalana de Bellas Artes de San Jorge (Catalonian Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Saint George), with the Count of Güell as President.
While the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes (Superior School of Fine Arts) was moved to la Lonja in 1940, and the Escuela de Artes y Oficios Artísticos did so at the end of the 60’s, the Royal Academy still nowadays keeps its headquarters on the second floor of the building.
In 1989 it became the Real Academia Catalana de Bellas Artes de San Jorge (Catalonian Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Saint George).