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Prince Albert used photography to document exhibitions and works of art

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

The prophet Isaiah 1858

Albumen print? | RCIN 2864269

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A photograph of a drawing depicting a seated man now in the Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice (inv. no. 53 verso). This drawing is on the verso of a sheet depicting a Madonna with child (see RCIN 851200 for a photograph of the recto). 

Ferino Pagden (see Bibliographic References) identified the model of this drawing as the prophet Isaiah in the 'St Peter Altarpiece' executed by Pietro Perugino (c.1496-1500) and now in the Musée des Beaux Arts, Nantes (the painting is reproduced in the catalogue of the drawings of the Gallerie dell'Accademia). The high quality of this sheet is possibly a result of the draughtsman having had direct access to drawings by Raphael which were in turn copied from Perugino's composition.

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 854649) can be found in the Prince Consort's Raphael Collection, portfolio 49 (970609)

  • Creator(s)

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

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

    Attributed to Florence : Alinari (photographer)

    Isaiah (OT)
  • Acquired by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

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

    Gallerie dell' Accademia di Venezia : catalogo dei disegni antichi. v. S. Ferino Pagden, Disegni Umbri (1984), pp. 57-58, no. 12 (for the drawing); pp. 13-31 (for the sketchbook)