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Prince Albert used photography to document exhibitions and works of art

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

Three female heads 1858

Albumen print? | RCIN 2864251

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A photograph of a drawing depicting three female heads now in the Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice (inv. no. 40 verso). This drawing is on the verso of a sheet of putti (see RCIN 851875 for a photograph of the recto). Annotated on the verso.

Ferino Pagden (see Bibliographic References) noted that this drawing was interpreted by Ernst Steinmann as being related to the fresco of 'The finding of Moses', painted by Pietro Perugino in the Sistine Chapel, Vatican and destroyed in 1540 by Michelangelo's 'Last Judgement'. Others scholars have associated the heads depicted in this drawing with other compositions in the Sistine Chapel.

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 854418) can be found in the Prince Consort's Raphael Collection, portfolio 48 (970608)

  • Creator(s)

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

    After a work copying 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
    Subject(s)
    • Science, Medicine and Technology
      • Medical sciences
        • Anatomy
          • Heads
    • Places
      • Europe
        • Italy
          • Lazio [Italy]
            • Rome [Lazio]
              • Vatican City [Rome]
                • Vatican Palace [Vatican City]
                  • Sistine Chapel [Vatican Palace]
  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    Gallerie dell' Accademia di Venezia : catalogo dei disegni antichi. v. S. Ferino Pagden, Disegni Umbri (1984), pp. 71-72, no. 19 (for the drawing); pp. 13-31 (for the sketchbook)