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Other Frescoes

Other Frescoes

The betrothal of Frederick III and Eleanor of Portugal


Albumen print | RCIN 853774

A photograph of a drawing catalogued by Ruland (1876) as 'Raphael's ... design' for the fresco 'The betrothal of the Emperor Frederick III and Eleanor of Portugal' painted by Pinturicchio and his workshop (1502-07/08) in the Piccolomini Library in Siena Cathedral. According to Ruland (1876), this drawing was then in the collection of Signor Baldeschi at Perugia. Annotated in ink on the verso.

The decoration of the Piccolomini library was commissioned by Cardinal Francesco Todeschino Piccolomini (later Pope Pius III) in 1502 from Raphael's older Perugian contemporary Pinturicchio. The frescoes illustrate events in the life of Pope Pius II (Enea Silvio Piccolomini), the Cardinal's uncle. Vasari credited Raphael with executing 'some drawings and some cartoons' for the library at the express request of Pinturicchio. Scholarly opinion has been divided over the attribution of preparatory drawings for the frescoes, but at least five drawings convincingly related to the decorative scheme are considered to be by Raphael (see Bibliographic References). One of these is a modello, now in the Morgan Library and Museum, New York (inv. no.1996.9), which was also in the Baldeschi collection. Whilst RCIN 853774 is extremely faint and difficult to read, it does not appear to be the same drawing as that in the Morgan, which is far more highly-finished.
  • Acquired for the Prince Consort's Raphael Collection (c.1853-76)