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Prince Albert used photography to document exhibitions and works of art

After? Raphael (Urbino 1483-Rome 1520)

Hercules killing the lion 1858

Albumen print? | RCIN 2864263

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A photograph of a drawing depicting Hercules killing the lion now in the Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice (inv. no. 30 recto). This drawing features a study for a nude man on the verso (see RCIN 854283 for a photograph of the verso).

Ferino Pagden (see Bibliographic References) gives an account of the controversial scholarly opinions on the source for this drawing, suggesting that this could be a study by the young Raphael derived from compositions by Antonio del Pollaiuolo.

This drawing is part of the so-called "Libretto di Raffaello" or "Libretto Veneziano", 53 sheets that used to be mounted in a volume. After complicated negotiations, the sketchbook was bought by the Accademia in the 1820s, after the death of Giuseppe Bossi, who was its previous owner. A number of scholars debated the author of the drawings (with many names proposed, such as Pinturicchio, Antonio da Viterbo, Eusebio del Giorgio, Girolamo Genga) and their date. In 1984, the drawings were catalogued as by an artist contemporary to Raphael, whose juvenile works he copied in this sketchbook (see Bibliographic References).

A copy of this photograph (RCIN 850187) can be found in the Prince Consort's Raphael Collection, portfolio 2 (970561)

  • Creator(s)

    After? Raphael (Urbino 1483-Rome 1520) (artist)

    Attributed to Florence : Alinari (photographer)

  • Acquired by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
    Subject(s)
    • Religion & Theology
      • Religions and faiths
        • Religions of antiquity
          • Classical mythology
            • Hercules
    • Natural Sciences & Mathematics
      • Zoology
        • Animals
          • Mammals
            • Carnivorous mammals
              • Felines
                • Lions
  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    Gallerie dell' Accademia di Venezia : catalogo dei disegni antichi. v. S. Ferino Pagden, Disegni Umbri (1984), pp. 117-118, no. 42 (for the drawing); pp. 13-31 (for the sketchbook)