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Prince Albert used photography to document exhibitions and works of art

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

The 'Borghese Entombment': the Virgin supported by the Holy Women c. 1857

Albumen print? | RCIN 2864424

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A photograph of a drawing now in the Royal Library (RCIN 912746) which is a copy of a now lost drawing by Raphael for the 'Borghese Entombment', a painting executed by Raphael (1507) now in the Galleria Borghese, Rome ( 170).

The so-called 'Borghese Entombment' used to be the central panel of an altarpiece ('Baglioni Altarpiece') executed by Raphael for the church of San Francesco al Prato in Perugia and commissioned by Atalanta Baglioni to commemorate the death of her son Grifonetto, who was murdered in 1500. Raphael is documented in Perugia in 1505, when scholars believe that Raphael received the commission, and the majority of his preparatory drawings are dated c.1506-1507.

A considerable number of sketches and studies by Raphael for this composition are known and they reflect the different phases towards the definition of the pictorial programme. The scene depicted in the painting is the moment in which Christ's body is carried to the grave, with the separate group of the three Marys supporting the Virgin to the right. The more conventional iconographies of the Entombment and the Lamentation over Christ's body have here been transformed by Raphael into a more narrative painting.

By order of the nephew of Pope Paul V, Scipione Borghese, in 1608 the painting was removed from its original location and housed in the Borghese collection in Rome, where it remained until 1797 when it was confiscated by Napoleon and taken to Paris. In 1815 it was returned to the Galleria Borghese.

A copy of this photograph (RCIN 850251) can be found in the Prince Consort's Raphael Collection, portfolio 3 (970562)
  • Creator(s)

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

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

    Mary Magdalene
    St John
    Nicodemus (NT)
    Blessed Virgin Mary
  • Acquired by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
    • Religion & Theology
      • Religions and faiths
        • Christianity
          • Life of Christ
            • Passion of Christ
              • Entombment of Christ
    • Places
      • Asia
        • Israel
          • Jerusalem [Israel]
            • Golgotha
      • Europe
        • Italy
          • Lazio [Italy]
            • Rome [Lazio]
              • Palazzo Borghese [Rome]
    • Arts, Recreation, Entertainment & Sport
      • Architecture
        • Ecclesiastical & religious architecture
          • Funerary architecture
            • Tombs
      • Music
        • Religious music
          • Liturgical music
            • Psalms. Psalters. Lamentations
  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    P&W : Popham, A.E. & Wilde, J., 1949. The Italian Drawings of the XV and XVI Centuries in the Collection of His Majesty The King at Windsor Castle, London no. 0855

    Capellen 2001 : Capellen, JM, 2001. Raphael : the paintings. Volume 1, The Beginning in Umbria and Florence ca.1500-1508 pp. 233-246, no. 30

    Jones/Penny 1983 : Jones, R. and Penny, N. Raphael, 1983 pp. 37-47