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Prince Albert used photography to document exhibitions and works of art

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

Four men and a kneeling child 1858

Albumen print? | RCIN 2864281

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A photograph of a drawing depicting four men and a kneeling child now in the Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice (inv. no. 51 recto). This drawing features on the verso various sketches. 

The Gallerie dell'Accademia (see Bibliographic References) noted that the drawing could derive from an invention by the young Raphael or Perugino. Also the subject has been variously interpreted: the Choice of Hercules (Bossi), the Coronation of Apollo by the Shepherds (Crowe and Cavalcaselle) or a biblical scene such as the Coronation of David (Fischel).

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 854275) can be found in the Prince Consort's Raphael Collection, portfolio 47 (970607)

  • Creator(s)

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

    After a work copying Pietro Perugino (Città della Pieve c. 1450-Fontignano 1523) (artist)

    Attributed to Florence : Alinari (photographer)

    David (OT)
  • Acquired by Queen Victoria and prince Albert

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
    • People
      • Men
    • Social sciences
      • Ethnology
        • Public life
          • Coronations
    • Religion & Theology
      • Religions and faiths
        • Religions of antiquity
          • Classical mythology
            • Apollo (myth)
  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    Gallerie dell' Accademia di Venezia : catalogo dei disegni antichi. v. S. Ferino Pagden, Disegni Umbri (1984), pp. 53-54, no. 10 (for the drawing); pp. 13-31 (for the sketchbook)