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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


The head of the Virgin


Albumen print | 13.5 x 9.8 cm (image) | RCIN 2864161

A photograph of a drawing by Raphael (c.1502) now in the Musée des Beaux Arts, Lille (inv. no. 466), depicting the head of the Virgin, possibly for a depiction of the 'Mater Dolorosa', the Virgin at the foot of the Cross.

It has also been suggested that this drawing might be a very early study for the Virgin in the so-called 'Spasimo di Sicilia', a painting by Raphael and his workshop (c.1515-1516) now in the Prado, Madrid (inv. no. 298). See Bibliographic References. See RCIN 850311 for a photograph of the painting.

A copy of this photograph (RCIN 850445) can be found in the Prince Consort's Raphael Collection, portfolio 5 (970564)

  • Creator(s)

    After Raphael (Urbino 1483-Rome 1520) (artist)

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


    Blessed Virgin Mary
  • 13.5 x 9.8 cm (image)

  • Acquired by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

  • Subject(s)
    • Science, Medicine and Technology
      • Medical sciences
        • Anatomy
          • Heads
    • Religion & Theology
      • Religions and faiths
        • Christianity
          • Devotional images of the Virgin Mary(Christ absent)
            • Virgin Mary of Sorrows
    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
    p. 182, no. 523

    Joannides 1983 : Joannides, P., 1983. The Drawings of Raphael, with a complete catalogue, Oxford
    p. 140, no. 26