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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 Joseph Kanné answering his questions about drawings to be photographed in the Uffizi Gallery and suggesting ways of persuading the Director to accept the proposed exchange with copies of the Windsor collection. 23 Dec 1867

Loose manuscript paper; mounted | 1 document (4 pages) (whole object) | RA VIC/ADDA10/85/253

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Dr. Becker expresses pleasure at what Kanné has done in Italy. He has sent a duplicate of his letter of 23 November (see VIC/ADDA10/85/255) to Milan as requested. Kanné seems to have misunderstood his annotations in the copy of Passavant regarding the drawings in the Uffizi: he intended all the Raphael drawings to be photographed in exchange for copies of the Windsor collection, and merely indicated that the Prince already had engravings of some of them (by Mulinari) in case Kanné thought he should buy these instead of photographs. But he is glad that Kanné has not ordered more photographs from Alinari, as the cost would have been higher than the Prince wished to pay.

He comments that the Director of the Uffizi probably turned down the request for an exchange with the Windsor collection because the creation of photographic plates of the Uffizi drawings would cost much more than having copies made of the photographs at Windsor. The Prince suggests, however, that Kanné point out to the Director that there are various great collections of drawings in other European cities which have already been, or are about to be, photographed, often at the Prince's suggestion, and that by mutual exchanges the owners of each collection will be able to accumulate a practically complete record of Raphael's drawings.

The expense of having the plates made for the purpose of a single exchange will seem much less if it enables the Uffizi to obtain 10 or 12 collections from elsewhere as well, as prints will be comparatively very cheap to produce. If the Director still demurs, another solution would be to give Alinari permission to photograph and publish the entire collection (of Raphael drawings) in return for a specified number of prints which could be used for the aforementioned exchanges. Or the Director could simply allow Alinari to photograph the whole collection and publish it himself or allow it to be published by someone else: Becker thinks Colnaghi would be willing to do this.

The Director could also be asked whether he would have the 39 drawings photographed if a sale of 12-15 copies in England were guaranteed, which could probably be achieved without difficulty.

Related Material: For related material, see VIC/ADDA10/85/255.
  • Creator(s)

    Dr Ernst Becker (1826-88) (writer)

    Joseph Julius Kanné (c. 1818-1888) (addressee)

  • 1 document (4 pages) (whole object)

  • Object type(s)
      • printed & manuscript material
        • documents
          • correspondence
    Language(s)
    German
  • Place of Production
    Windsor Castle