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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 study for the Marriage of Alexander and Roxana

c. 1857

Albumen print? | RCIN 2864435

A photograph of a drawing now in the Royal Library, Windsor Castle (RCIN 912756), depicting the scene of the Marriage of Alexander and Roxana. This drawing is here attributed to the school of Raphael and related to the fresco in Raphael's Villa. 

A number of Raphaelesque drawings of this scene, including this one, have been related by some scholars to a lost drawing by Raphael for the "Sala di Alexander e Roxana" in the Villa Farnesina, which was frescoed by Sodoma with many differences. This theme was also frescoed in Raphael's Villa, the so-called Casino Raffaello and the detached fresco is now in the Galleria Borghese (inv. no. 303). This building — a small summer-house, also known as the Casino Olgiati — was destroyed in the siege of Rome in 1849 and used to be in the Galoppatoio area of the present-day Borghese Park. Ruland (1876) notes that: "the three principal frescoes have been removed before". In the life of Raphael written by Quatremere de Quincy and translated into Italian by Francesco Longhena in 1829, it is noted that seven prints after the paintings of this Villa were made by Francesco Saverio Gonzales, five of which are in the Royal Collection (see RCINs 854035.a-d and 854037). Longhena also writes that in the Villa there was a portrait of La Fornarina, the fresco of the Marriage of Alexander and Roxana, representations of the Vices with arrows and the Sacrifice of Flora on the ceiling.

This fresco derives from Luciano's story in the dialogue "Herodotus sive Action".

A copy of this photograph (RCIN 854046) can be found in the Prince Consort's Raphael Collection, portfolio 44 (970604)
  • Creator(s)

    After a work attributed to the workshop of Raphael (Urbino 1483-Rome 1520) (artist)

    Attributed to Charles Thurston Thompson (1816-68)


  • Acquired by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

  • Subject(s)
    • Places
      • Europe
        • Italy
          • Lazio [Italy]
            • Rome [Lazio]
              • Villa Farnesina [Rome]
    • Arts, Recreation, Entertainment & Sport
      • Art
        • Paintings
          • Frescoes
    Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    P&W : Popham, A.E. & Wilde, J., 1949. The Italian Drawings of the XV and XVI Centuries in the Collection of His Majesty The King at Windsor Castle, London
    no. 0809

    Cordellier/Py 1992 : Raphael : son atelier, ses copistes, 1992 / par Dominique Cordellier et Bernadette Py, Paris (Inventaire general des dessins Italiens ; V / sous la direction de Francoise Viatte)
    pp. 307-310, no. 449

    Jones/Penny 1983 : Jones, R. and Penny, N. Raphael, 1983
    pp. 179-180