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Prince Albert used photography to document exhibitions and works of art

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

Cupid and the Three Graces c. 1857

Albumen print? | RCIN 2864405

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A photograph of a drawing in the Royal Collection (see RCIN 912755) which is considered to be a copy after the pendentive fresco depicting Cupid and the Three Graces 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 853921) can be found in the Prince Consort's Raphael Collection, portfolio 43 (970603)
  • Creator(s)

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

    Attributed to Charles Thurston Thompson (1816-68) (photographer)

  • Acquired by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
    • Religion & Theology
      • Religions and faiths
        • Religions of antiquity
          • Classical mythology
            • Cupid