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Prince Albert's Personal Papers

Papers relating to Prince Albert’s personal life and enthusiasms


Letter from Gustav Waagen to Dr. Ernst Becker sending a photograph of the Raphael Madonna and Child in the Berlin Museum and offering a photograph of the Princess of Prussia's picture of a Carthusian monk, for the Prince Consort's Raphael Collection.

24 Oct 1859

Loose manuscript paper; mounted | 1 document (4 pages) (whole object) | RA VIC/ADDA10/85/416

Dr. Waagen explains that his long delay in sending a photograph of the Raphael picture in the Berlin Museum, no. 16 in Passavant, is not due to forgetfulness on his part but to the difficulty of obtaining an acceptable photograph of it. This is partly because of the dark yellow tone of some areas of flesh, but chiefly because the board has deteriorated so much at the centre that the saints depicted at the receding sides cannot be brought into focus.

After several failed attempts, however, Waagen eventually found a photographer who at least succeeded in photographing the principal subject, Mary and the Child, well enough for the result to be worthy of inclusion in the Prince Consort's collection. He is sending the negative and a print, and mentions the amount he spent on it.

Waagen goes on to ask whether the Prince would like a photograph of the charming small picture of a Carthusian monk which Passavant described on page 181 of his Volume 3 as belonging to Dr. Spiker and which was bequeathed to the Princess of Prussia. He has already obtained the Princess's permission to have it photographed for the Prince Consort.

Waagen concludes with a paragraph expressing his deep regret that Princess Friedrich Wilhelm is no longer in touch with him at all; having had such promising contacts with her earlier, he had hoped that his experience and knowledge of art might occasionally be of use in developing this talented Princess's artistic education.

Related Material: See VIC/ADDA10/85/397 and VIC/ADDA10/85/419 for other references to the monk picture.
  • Creator(s)

    Waagen, Gustav (writer) [24 October 1859]

  • 1 document (4 pages) (whole object)