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Prince Albert used photography to document exhibitions and works of art

After a work copying Luca Signorelli (c. 1445-1523)

Various male heads 1858

Albumen print? | RCIN 2864247

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A photograph of a drawing depicting various male heads now in the Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice (inv. no. 66 verso). This drawing is on the verso of a sheet depicting a shepherd with a bagpipe (see RCIN 850410 for a photograph of the recto).

Ferino Pagden (see Bibliographic References) noted that - without being exact copies - some of the figures in this drawing are related to the fresco 'Totila meeting St Benedict' executed by Luca Signorelli in the monastery of Monte Oliveto Maggiore in Tuscany.

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 854425) can be found in the Prince Consort's Raphael Collection, portfolio 48 (970608)

  • Creator(s)

    After a work copying Luca Signorelli (c. 1445-1523) (artist)

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

    Attributed to Florence : Alinari (photographer)

  • Acquired by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
    • Science, Medicine and Technology
      • Medical sciences
        • Anatomy
          • Heads
  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    Gallerie dell' Accademia di Venezia : catalogo dei disegni antichi. v. S. Ferino Pagden, Disegni Umbri (1984), pp. 39-40, no. 3 (for the drawing); pp. 13-31 (for the sketchbook)