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Prince Albert used photography to document exhibitions and works of art

After a work copying Raphael (Urbino 1483-Rome 1520)

A grotesque motif 1858

Albumen print? | RCIN 2864288

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A photograph of a pen and ink drawing depicting a grotesque motif now in the Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice (inv. no. 69 recto). This drawing features a depiction of a group from a Massacre of the Innocents on the verso (see RCIN 854645 for a photograph of the verso).

It has been suggested that this drawing could be related to the grotesques frescoed by Pinturicchio, considered a forerunner in the use of these motifs, anticipating Raphael's designs. More recently some works by Raphael have also been compared to this drawing (see Bibliographic References).

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 museum in the 1820s, following 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 Gallerie dell'Accademia catalogued the drawings as by an artist contemporary to Raphael, whose juvenile works he copied in this sketchbook (see Bibliographic References).

A copy of this photograph (RCIN 854196) can be found in the Prince Consort's Raphael Collection, portfolio 46 (970606)

  • Creator(s)

    After a work copying Raphael (Urbino 1483-Rome 1520) (artist)

    After a work copying Bernardino Pinturicchio (c. 1452-1513) (artist)

    Attributed to Florence : Alinari (photographer)

  • Acquired by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
    • Arts, Recreation, Entertainment & Sport
      • Decorative motifs
        • Grotesques
    • Science, Medicine and Technology
      • Home economics
        • Furniture & accessories
          • Furnishings
            • Lighting Devices
              • Candle holders
                • Candelabra
  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    Gallerie dell' Accademia di Venezia : catalogo dei disegni antichi. v. S. Ferino Pagden, Disegni Umbri (1984), pp.41-42 under no.4 (for the drawing); pp. 13-31 (for the sketchbook)