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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 Vulcan

c. 1857

Albumen print? | RCIN 2864434

A photograph of a drawing now in the Royal Library, Windsor Castle (RCIN 990303), where it is currently attributed to the School of Raphael. The drawing corresponds closely to an angraving by Agostino Veneziano (RCIN 851776), but in reverse. Although smaller in scale, suggestions have been made that the drawing may have been used as the model for the engraving.

According to Passavant (1860, II, p.578, under no.46), the original design is to be attributed to Raphael, from whom it was commissioned by Giovanni Battiferri, who wished to have it frescoed by Vincenzo da Gimignano on the façade of his house in the Vatican Borgo, Rome.

The composition is also known through a handful of works, including a small painting attributed to the School of Giulio Romano (inv. no.424) and two drawings (inv. nos.3657, 3478), all of which are now in the Musée du Louvre, Paris. Another drawing of the same subjects exists in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (inv. no.D.844-1886), and a further one was catalogued by Ruland (1876) as being then in the collection of Mr Tiffin, London. A photograph of the latter at RCIN 851779.

A copy of this photograph (RCIN 851780) can be found in the Prince Consort's Raphael Collection, portfolio 17 (970576)
  • Creator(s)

    After a work by the workshop of Raphael (Urbino 1483-Rome 1520) (artist)

    Attributed to Charles Thurston Thompson (1816-68)


  • Acquired by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

  • Subject(s)
    • Language, Linguistics and Literature
      • Literature
        • Fiction
          • Tales & legends
            • Myths
    • Religion & Theology
      • Religions and faiths
        • Religions of antiquity
          • Classical mythology
            • Venus (mythology)
            • Cupid
    • Science, Medicine and Technology
      • Engineering & Technology
        • Military engineering
          • Arms (weapons)
            • Arrows
    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
    p.318, no.813

    Bacou 1984 : Bacou, R. Autour de Raphaël. Dessins et peintures du Musée du Louvre, 1984
    p. 126, under P4

    Raphael Invenit 1985 : G. Bernini Pezzini et al., Raphael Invenit. Stampe di Raffaello nelle Collezioni dell'Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica, Rome, 1985
    p.246, under no.V.6

    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)

    Massari 1993 : Massari, S, 1993. Giulio Romano pinxit et delineavit : Opere grafiche autografe di collaborazione e bottega, Rome
    pp.18-9, under no.13

    Oberhuber/Gnann 1999 : Roma e lo stile classico di Raffaello, 1515-1527 / a cura di Konrad Oberhuber ; catalogo di Achim Gnann, 1999