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Prince Albert's Personal Papers

Papers relating to Prince Albert’s personal life and enthusiasms


Letter from Ludwig Gruner to Dr. Ernst Becker commenting further on Raphael drawings belonging to the Grand Duchess of Saxe-Weimar, sending part of a work on Orvieto and reporting progress on the illustrations for the Hope bible [?].

12 Dec 1857

Loose manuscript paper; mounted | 1 document (9 pages) (whole object) | RA VIC/ADDA10/85/360

Responding to a letter from Becker, Gruner confirms the identification in Passavant of the portrait drawing in the Grand Duchess of Saxe-Weimar's collection mentioned in his previous letter (see VIC/ADDA10/85/357) but says Passavant's description is wrong and incomplete, and the drawing is by Michelangelo. He identifies other Weimar drawings in Passavant, Noah's sacrifice and a sleeping boy; the latter is inadequately described by Passavant. There is also a study of Christ's garment for the painting in the [church of the] 5 Saints in Parma, which is not in Passavant.

Gruner thinks the Weimar Madonna del Pesce is much more beautiful than in Marcantonio (Raimondi)'s engraving or Woodburn's facsimile, and should be photographed. The Grand Duchess's album also contains a drawing of the Child from the Madonna with Angels in Paris, together with a study of the Virgin's right hand. Passavant lists a similar drawing in Florence. Curiously, on the reverse of the Weimar drawing is another drawing, from the school of Rubens. It is of the Abduction of Ganymede, and the composition is very like the Dresden Museum's Rembrandt painting of that subject. It is also in red chalk, but the colour, technique and merit of the two sides of the paper are completely different.

Gruner remarks that he has been writing the catalogue of Professor Krüger's collection, to be auctioned in Dresden soon, and sends proofs of it in case the Prince Consort is interested. He is also sending a parcel containing two copies of the second part of the work on the Duomo at Orvieto, and a packet for the Prince containing drawings which he asks Becker to forward to the Prince at once.

Gruner goes on to report progress on the completion of the 'Hope Bible' [?]. He has promised 40 sheets [illustrations?] for which he is taking sole responsibility, so the project is moving only slowly, but he has already procured ten drawings, nos. 30-40, in Rome for 35 scudi each. It would be a relief for him and a service to art if the Prince felt inclined to buy these and lend them to Gruner for lithographing. He would sell them for 5 guineas apiece, unless Mr Hope, who has nos. 1-30, wants them.

He asks Becker to ask the Prince if he could use the Lattanzio frescoes for a [?bathing house, 'Bade local'] down by the harbour at Osborne. Finally, in a postscript, he asks for the subscription for the Orvieto volumes to be paid into his bank in London.

Related Material: For related correspondence, see VIC/ADDA10/85/357.
  • Creator(s)

    Gruner, Ludwig: Director of the Königliches Kupferstich-Kabinett, Dresden (writer) [12 December 1857]

    Dr Ernst Becker (1826-88)


  • 1 document (9 pages) (whole object)