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Prince Albert used photography to document exhibitions and works of art

After? Raphael (Urbino 1483-Rome 1520)

A group from a Massacre of the Innocents 1858

Albumen print? | RCIN 2864287

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A photograph of a drawing depicting a group from a Massacre of the Innocents now in the Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice (inv. no. 69 verso). This drawing is on the verso of a sheet of grotesque studies (see RCIN 854196 for a photograph of the recto). Annotated on the verso.

Ruland (1876) suggested that this drawing was copied after a composition by Fra Giovanni da Fiesole. Ferino Pagden wrote (see Bibliographic References) that the composition copied in this drawing is by Raphael. Previous scholars believed this drawing not to be by a copy but rather by the young Raphael and Ferino Pagden noted that some sketchy details (such as the head at the far right) and the way in which the 'pentimenti' (alterations in the drawing) have been erased are reminiscent of the young Raphael. The child crying in his mother's arms at the right is close to that of a drawing by Raphael (c.1501) now in the Musée du Louvre, Paris (inv. no. 3855 v). See RCIN 851905 for a photograph of this drawing. 

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, 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 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 854645) can be found in the Prince Consort's Raphael Collection, portfolio 49 (970609)

  • Creator(s)

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

    Attributed to Florence : Alinari (photographer)

  • Acquire by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
    Subject(s)
    • People
      • Children
    • Philosophy & Psychology
      • Psychology
        • Emotions
          • Crying
  • 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)