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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


Venus and Cupid

c. 1857

Albumen print? | RCIN 2864433

A photograph of a drawing in the Albertina, Vienna ( which is considered to be a copy of the two primary figures in a drawing in the Royal Collection, Windsor (see RCIN 912757). The Royal Collection drawing is attributed to a member of Raphael's workshop (perhaps Giulio Romano) and is closely related to the fresco depicting Venus and Cupid on the south wall of the stufetta, or bathroom, in the apartments of Cardinal Bibbiena in the Vatican Palace. The stufetta was frescoed with mythological subjects by Raphael's workshop c.1516. Annotated on verso.

It has been argued that the Royal Collection drawing derives from Raphael's original compositional design (now lost) for the fresco, and was made in the workshop as part of the preparatory procedure towards executing the final fresco (see Bibliographic References).

Cardinal Bibbiena had a close friendship with Raphael, patronising him on a number of occasions and, it would seem, facilitating the betrothal of the artist to his niece. In addition to the stufetta, Raphael's workshop also painted Cardinal Bibbiena's loggia. Both spaces were designed in a manner imitating ancient Roman painted decoration, and included depictions of episodes from Ovid, grotesques and ornamental motifs. The stufetta was rediscovered in the nineteenth century and survives in a much damaged form today; the loggetta was not rediscovered until the twentieth century. 

A copy of this photograph (RCIN 853869) can be found in the Prince Consort's Raphael Collection, portfolio 42 (970602)
  • Creator(s)

    After a work copying Giulio Romano (Rome c. 1499-Mantua 1546) (artist)

    Attributed to Charles Thurston Thompson (1816-68)


  • Acquired by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

  • Subject(s)
    • Religion & Theology
      • Religions and faiths
        • Religions of antiquity
          • Classical mythology
            • Venus (mythology)
            • Cupid
    • Places
      • Europe
        • Italy
          • Lazio [Italy]
            • Rome [Lazio]
              • Vatican City [Rome]
                • Vatican Palace [Vatican City]
                  • Bathroom (stufetta) of Cardinal Bibbiena [Vatican Palace]
    Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
  • 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

    Clayton 1999 : Clayton, M. Raphael and his Circle. Drawings from Windsor Castle, London

    Jones/Penny 1983 : Jones, R. and Penny, N. Raphael, 1983

    Cordellier/Py 1992 : Raphael : son atelier, ses copistes, 1992 / par Dominique Cordellier et Bernadette Py, Paris (Inventaire general des dessins Italiens ; V / sous la direction de Francoise Viatte)