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Exhibitions and records of works of art

Prince Albert recognised the importance of photography to record and document notable exhibitions and works of art


A griffin


Albumen print? | RCIN 2864273

A photograph of a pen and ink drawing depicting a griffin now in the Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice (inv. no. 68 verso). Annotated on the verso.

It has been noted that this drawing bears a very close relation with the illustration by Sandro Botticelli of the XXX Canto of the Purgatorio (second part of Dante's Divine Comedy) (see Bibliographic References). This drawing is on the verso of a sheet depicting a male bust (see RCIN 854426 for a photograph of the recto).  

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 Venetian 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 dates. 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 854197) can be found in the Prince Consort's Raphael Collection, portfolio 46 (970606)

  • Creator(s)

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

    After a work associated with Sandro Botticelli (c. 1445-1510) (artist)

    Attributed to Florence : Alinari (photographer)

  • Acquired by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

  • Subject(s)
    • Natural Sciences & Mathematics
      • Biological sciences
        • Zoology
          • Animals
            • Mythical creatures
              • Griffins (mythical creatures)
    Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    Gallerie dell' Accademia di Venezia : catalogo dei disegni antichi. v.
    S. Ferino Pagden, Disegni Umbri (1984), pp.35-36 under no.1 (for the drawing); pp. 13-31 (for the sketchbook)