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Prince Albert used photography to document exhibitions and works of art

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

Studies of children 1858

Albumen print? | RCIN 2864271

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A photograph of a drawing depicting various studies of children now in the Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice (inv. no. 87 recto). This drawing features on the verso acanthus leaves (see RCIN 854192 for a photograph of the verso).

The Gallerie dell'Accademia (see Bibliographic References) noted that the head of the putto has been painted over many times and it is associated with Perugino's inventions, rather than Raphael's; without providing a precise source for it, it is suggested that the head could derive from the figure in the almond-shaped decorations around the representation of the Divinity which were common in Perugino's practice. This putto is depicted with his eyes closed, as in representations of the sleeping Jesus held by the Madonna. The motif of children urinating (like the one just outlined on the left of this sheet) is found in many 15th century prints of Bacchanals of Putti.  

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 854271) 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)

    Associated with Pietro Perugino (Città della Pieve c. 1450-Fontignano 1523) (artist)

    Attributed to Florence : Alinari (photographer)

  • Acquired by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
    • People
      • Children
      • Putti
  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    Gallerie dell' Accademia di Venezia : catalogo dei disegni antichi. v. S. Ferino Pagden, Disegni Umbri (1984), pp. 75-76, no. 21 (for the drawing); pp. 13-31 (for the sketchbook)