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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


Mars and an angel


Albumen print | 25.5 x 23.3 cm (image) | RCIN 2864187

A photograph of a drawing in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lille ( which is considered to be a copy of a lost study by Raphael for the figures of Mars and the angel in the mosaic depicting Mars and the astrological symbols associated with him in the cupola of the chapel of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome, which was executed by Luigi de Pace in 1516 after Raphael's design. Annotated on verso.

The authorship of this drawing, which was originally part of the collection of drawings formed by the painter Jean-Baptiste Wicar and bequeathed by him to the Society of Sciences and Arts of Lille, has been debated; an alternative hypothesis is that the drawing is by Giulio Romano (see Joannides in Bibliographic References).

The Chigi chapel in Santa Maria del Popolo was the burial place of the Papal banker Agostino Chigi, who commissioned Raphael to work on a number of projects in Rome during the 1510s. Raphael was responsible for designing the chapel itself as well as all aspects of its decoration, which encompassed mosaics, sculptures, tombs and (probably) an altarpiece. In the cupola of the chapel, a central roundel containing a depiction of God the Father is surrounded by compartments containing personifications of the seven planets and stars, all executed in mosaic. The chapel remained unfinished at the deaths of both artist and patron in 1520.

A copy of this photograph (RCIN 853853) can be found in the Prince Consort's Raphael Collection, portfolio 41 (970601)

  • Creator(s)

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

    Attributed to Robert Jefferson Bingham (1825-70) (photographer)

  • 25.5 x 23.3 cm (image)

  • Acquired by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

  • Subject(s)
    • Religion & Theology
      • Religions and faiths
        • Religions of antiquity
          • Classical mythology
            • Mars (myth)
        • Christianity
          • Angels, demons, devils, saints
            • Angels
    • Places
      • Europe
        • Italy
          • Lazio [Italy]
            • Rome [Lazio]
              • Santa Maria del Popolo [Rome]
                • Chigi Chapel [Santa Maria del Popolo]
    Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    Brejon de Lavergnée 1997 : Brejon de Lavergnée, B, 1997. Catalogue des dessins Italiens. Collections du Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, Paris

    Joannides 1983 : Joannides, P., 1983. The Drawings of Raphael, with a complete catalogue, Oxford

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