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Prince Albert's Personal Papers

Papers relating to Prince Albert’s personal life and enthusiasms


Extract of letter from an unknown writer to Count Tascher de la Pagerie reporting on the photography of a Raphael portrait in the collection of the Duke of Alba in Madrid, for the Prince Consort.

1 Nov 185830 Nov 1858

Loose manuscript paper; mounted | 1 document (4 pages) (whole object) | RA VIC/ADDA10/85/314

The writer states that he was pleased to receive the Count's letter asking him to look for a portrait of a man in black painted by Raphael in the Duke of Alba's collection, and to seek the Duke's permission to have it photographed for the Prince Consort. Although there has been a delay, he reports that the Prince will already have received a very exact copy of the portrait.

The writer explains that the Duke was very willing to meet the Prince's wishes, and once they had identified the portrait it was taken to the studio of one of the best photographers in Madrid. The Duke himself took part in various sessions photographing the picture in different lights, but the result was never satisfactory, because of the dark colours of the portrait and the varnish, which worked against the effect of the light in the camera oscura (chambre obscure).

As the daguerrotype produced only inadequate copies, one of the prints was painted over in oils, producing a very exact copy. The writer took this to Mr Buchanan, together with one of the daguerreotypes, to be sent to the Prince. Buchanan told him that he had recently received a similar commission from the Prince when he was in Copenhagen, relating to three pictures in the Royal Museum there.

The writer states that although the Count said the Ambassador would pay the expenses of the photography, he has not mentioned this to the Duke of Alba, who he thinks would be offended.

Related Material: For related correspondence, see VIC/ADDA10/85/313.
  • Creator(s)

    Unknown (writer) [[c. November 1858]]

    Tascher de la Pagerie, Carl, Count (addressee)

  • 1 document (4 pages) (whole object)