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Papers relating to Prince Albert’s personal life and enthusiasms

Dr Ernst Becker (1826-88)

Copy letter from Dr. Ernst Becker to the Netherlands Ambassador explaining the Prince Consort's project and seeking the Ambassador's help in obtaining permission for drawings in the Teyler Museum at Haarlem to be photographed 25 Jun 1859

Loose manuscript paper; mounted | 1 document (4 pages) (whole object) | RA VIC/ADDA10/85/494

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Becker explains that the Prince Consort is making a collection of all the works of Raphael in the form of the best engravings of his paintings together with facsimiles of his drawings for the pictures, to show both the development of the artist and the history of each picture. The drawings are in both private and public collections all over the world, and very few have been engraved in facsimile; therefore the Prince wishes to acquire photographic copies of them. 'Quite independent of this Collection the reproduction by Photography and subsequent publication of these treasures of art is in itself very desirable as a means of making these Drawings accessible to Artists all over the world and enabling them not only to see studies by the Great Masters which are now hidden and hardly known, but also to compare those which may be at present at great distances from one another and not accessible without a long journey.' The Prince began by having the 53 drawings by Raphael at Windsor Castle photographed, and he offered copies of these in exchange for photographs from other collections. Thus, partly by these exchanges, partly by the publication of collections by their owners, such as the British Museum, or by publishers of collections, as in Vienna, Venice and Florence, and partly by owners simply giving permission for HRH to have their drawings photographed at his expense (in which case he keeps the glass plates), most of the collections in Europe have been or will soon be photographed. No facsimiles exist, however, of the 12 or so drawings by Raphael in the Teyler Museum at Haarlem. Becker asks the Ambassador's help in finding out whether the museum would allow these drawings, and perhaps also others by Old Masters, to be photographed and if possible made accessible to the public in general. This is probably the best exposition of the Prince Consort's aims in making his Raphael Collection.
  • Creator(s)

    Dr Ernst Becker (1826-88) (writer)

    Arnold Adolph Bentinck (addressee)

  • 1 document (4 pages) (whole object)

  • Object type(s)
      • printed & manuscript material
        • documents
          • correspondence
  • Place of Production
    Buckingham Palace