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Prince Albert's Personal Papers

Papers relating to Prince Albert’s personal life and enthusiasms


Copy letter from J.D. Passavant to Ludwig Gruner giving information about a drawing of Raphael's Massacre of the Innocents owned by Count Riesch.

19 Dec 1859

Loose manuscript paper; mounted | 1 document (4 pages) (whole object) | RA VIC/ADDA10/85/432

Passavant writes that he has heard from Herr Vogel von Vogelstein that Gruner is seeking information about a drawing of Raphael's 'Massacre of the Innocents' which was once in the possession of Count Riesch, and of which Vogel gave Passavant a quick tracing he had made. Based on this, Passavant described the drawing in his work on Raphael. He still has the tracing, and encloses a copy of it; it shows the entire composition, although it is a very unsatisfactory rendering of the drawing itself.

Passavant does not know the present whereabouts of the drawing. But having examined the composition more closely and compared it with various preliminary sketches by Raphael for the Massacre of the Innocents, Passavant now thinks it is a later composition after Raphael's picture, because some of the groups are too densely crowded together, as for instance the mother with a child in her arms in the centre: she is quite hemmed in, with no room to flee. He has therefore omitted this drawing from the French translation of his work. This is all he knows about this drawing.

This letter was enclosed with Gruner's letter to Becker of 22 December 1859 (see VIC/ADDA10/85/433). See VIC/ADDA10/85/424 for Vogel von Vogelstein's letter to Gruner about this drawing.

Related Material: For related correspondence, see VIC/ADDA10/85/424 and VIC/ADDA10/85/433.
  • Creator(s)

    Passavant, Johann David, Professor; Curator of the Städel'sches Kunstitut in Frankfurt, biographer of Raphael (writer) [19 December 1859]

    Gruner, Ludwig: Director of the Königliches Kupferstich-Kabinett, Dresden (addressee)

  • 1 document (4 pages) (whole object)