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Albums compiled by Prince Albert, reflecting his beliefs surrounding photography

Oscar Gustav Rejlander (1813-75)

'Non Angeli sed Angli' 1857

Albumen print | 16.1 x 20.0 cm (oval) | RCIN 2906215

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Photograph of two children with the child on the left resting his head on his left hand and facing three-quarters right and the child on the right resting both arms on the table that he is leaning against whilst looking-up. This picture, by a photographer whose work Prince Albert greatly admired, comes from an album personally arranged by the Prince. It is based on two putti from Raphael's Sistine Madonna. The title has a double significance: it is a pun, as these are indeed not the angels from the Sistine Madonna but ordinary English children; it also refers to the comment reputedly made by St Gregory the Great when he saw some English children in a slave market in Rome: 'He... asked, what was the name of that nation? and was answered, that they were called Angles. Right, said he, for they have an angelic face, and it becomes such to be coheirs with the angels in heaven.'