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Prince Albert's Personal Papers

Papers relating to Prince Albert’s personal life and enthusiasms


Letter from Dr. H. Härtel to Dr. Friedrich Chrysander asking him to obtain, through Dr. Ernst Becker, photographs of the Raphael and Michelangelo drawings at Windsor as exhibited in the Manchester Exhibition of Art Treasures.

20 Mar 1858

Loose manuscript paper; mounted | 1 document (4 pages) (whole object) | RA VIC/ADDA10/85/368

Dr. Härtel writes that he is a keen collector of reproductions of the works of Raphael, and possesses most of the recent engravings after Raphael as well as some by Marcantonio (Raimondi) and his school. Photography has now opened up a new and very important field for collectors, enabling infinitely superior reproductions to be made. He recently saw the two series of photographs after Raphael, one of the drawings in the Louvre, the other of those at Windsor, lent by the Prince Consort to the Manchester Exhibition. Both series were by the photographer Thurston Thompson and there were 33 in all. Photographs of the Louvre series can be purchased, and Dr. Härtel tried to obtain them from Colnaghi in London, but they had only a few poor examples left, and he bought just two of them, a Madonna and Child and a profile of an angel from [The Expulsion of] Heliodorus. He was unable to obtain the others from Paris. Dr. Härtel therefore asks Dr. Chrysander to see whether Colnaghi or any other dealer has a new selection of the Louvre photographs, and if so, to buy good copies of the whole collection except for the two he has already. The Windsor set, however, is not so easily accessible: he was told at Colnaghi's that they were not for sale, but only given away by the Prince Consort as gifts. As Dr. Chrysander knows Dr. Becker, the Prince's private secretary, Härtel asks him to approach Becker. He feels it would not run counter to the Prince's intentions if copies of the photographs went into the collection of a private collector with a serious interest in them. If Becker can obtain permission for Härtel to buy them from the photographer or whoever had charge of the matter, his principal interest would be in the Raphael drawings, but he would be pleased to have copies of the Michelangelo drawings included in the exhibition too. He would want only good examples, for prints from the same negative plate can come out ver differently. He would be willing to pay whatever was asked, so long as it was not very much higher than that of the Louvre series, and Chrysander could obtain a refund from Ewer & Co who hold a sum in credit for him. If Colnaghi did not have the photographs, or good enough copies, Chrysander could perhaps consult the organiser of the photograph exhibition in Manchester, Professor Philip Delamotte of King's College, London. Dr. Härtel hopes that he is not imposing on Dr. Chrysander in making these requests; but since Ludwig Gruner, who used to live in London, was appointed Director of the Prints and Drawings collection in Dresden, Dr. Härtel knows of no one else to turn to for help in this matter.
  • Creator(s)

    Dr H Härtel (writer)

    Dr Friedrich Chrysander (addressee)

  • 1 document (4 pages) (whole object)

  • Object type(s)
      • printed & manuscript material
        • documents
          • correspondence