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Prince Albert's Personal Papers

Papers relating to Prince Albert’s personal life and enthusiasms


Letter from G. Heubel to Ruland giving permission for the Raphael drawings mentioned by Ruland to be photographed for the Prince Consort's collection, and listing 5 other drawings which he considers to be by Raphael and which he would also allow to be pho

9 Aug 1861

Loose manuscript paper; mounted | 1 document (4 pages) (whole object) | RA VIC/ADDA10/85/489

Heubel acknowledges receipt of Ruland's letter and says that he is pleased to be able to do the Prince a service: he is willing for the seven drawings listed by Ruland to be photographed, and asks only that they be handled with care. He would be glad to have copies. He adds that he has a few more drawings in stock that he thinks can be ascribed to Raphael, although he is well aware that works are often attributed to Raphael, even in public collections, when they are not at all characteristic of him. He goes on to describe these drawings, stating that they may also be photographed if the Prince wishes. 1. A rider on a burly horse leaping to the left as if to kill a menacing lion standing nearby; further left ?2 bulls. In red chalk; IHS watermark with a cross above. 2. The subject appears to be an emperor or consul in ancient Rome, surrounded by his advisers, holding a trial in an open square with grand buildings around it; a man with a parchment scroll approaches the emperor; the painter seems to have depicted himself to the left of the border. The ground is scattered with small plants, characteristic of Raphael. Heubel thinks it dates from when Raphael was a pupil of Perugino. Bistre with pen. 3. To the right of centre two riders seem to be taking leave of each other; to the left a crowd of men on a hill; in the foreground a youth with arms folded. Bistre with brush, white highlights. On the reverse a seated man, headless, in black chalk. This scene forms part of a picture in the Medici gallery in Florence that is attributed to Andreas Vannucchi. Heubel thinks it is very much in Raphael's style. 4. A mermaid with two decorative tails, holding a cornucopia in her left hand, with her right hand at her breast, riding on a dolphin with its snout in the air. Round, bistre with brush. Resembles an ornament for a fountain. 5. Katherine and Dorothea, each with her symbol, standing together in a landscape, a church with a tower in the right background, trees to the left. Pen and brush in bistre, white highlights. Heubel says that it is very fine and in his view certainly in Raphael's style. He recalls seeing a picture showing the same two figures, but it had a different title. Heubel goes on to say that he is surprised that the Prince is collecting only reproductions of works by Raphael himself, and not by his pupils, as it sometimes happens that a work is attributed to a pupil when it is clearly by the master, or drawings by pupils were 'improved' by Raphael, so that at least part of them is authentically by him, especially preparatory drawings for paintings. But he acknowledges that HRH may have overriding reasons, which he would respect. Heubel promises to examine carefully the list Ruland promised to send and would be glad if he were able to fill some of the gaps in HRH's collection. Finally, Heubel asks a favour of Ruland: he would like to find a position with an art collector in England, where there are more important collections than in Germany, to arrange, catalogue and care for works of art; he would be glad if Ruland could help, as his own position must bring him into contact with collectors.
  • Creator(s)

    Heubel, G.; Berlin art dealer (writer) [9 August 1861]

    Ruland, Charles (addressee)

  • 1 document (4 pages) (whole object)