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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 Three Graces

c. 1857

Albumen print? | RCIN 2864406

A photograph of a red chalk drawing by Raphael (c.1517-1518) now in the Royal Library, Windsor Castle (RCIN 912754). This is a study of the Three Graces for the Banquet of the Gods from the vault of the entrance loggia of the Farnesina, Agostino Chigi's villa in Rome, which was frescoed with mythological subjects by Raphael's workshop c.1518. 

The fresco decoration in the Farnesina illustrates the classical fable of Cupid and Psyche, a story which was also frequently used to decorate Florentine wedding chests. Raphael's fresco scheme comprises two primary scenes in the vault (painted to resemble tapestries), accompanied by a series of episodes painted in the pendentives. The whole is encompassed within a fictive pergola, which gives the viewer the impression of looking up into the heavens. Only the upper part of the loggia is painted (the vault and its supporting pendentives and spandrels).

A copy of this photograph (RCIN 853988) can be found in the Prince Consort's Raphael Collection, portfolio 43 (970603)
  • Creator(s)

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

    Attributed to Charles Thurston Thompson (1816-68)


  • Acquired by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    Clayton 1999 : Clayton, M. Raphael and his Circle. Drawings from Windsor Castle, London
    pp.121-123, n.31

    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
    n. 804

    Joannides 1983 : Joannides, P., 1983. The Drawings of Raphael, with a complete catalogue, Oxford
    p. 236 n. 408

    Jones/Penny 1983 : Jones, R. and Penny, N. Raphael, 1983