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Prince Albert's Personal Papers

Papers relating to Prince Albert’s personal life and enthusiasms

JOSEPH VON KELLER (1811-73)

Letter from Professor Joseph Keller of Düsseldorf to Dr. Ernst Becker regarding the whereabouts of a Raphael drawing thought to be in Düsseldorf and offering to send a print and an etching of two others.

5 Aug 1858

Loose manuscript paper; mounted | 1 document (6 pages) (whole object) | RA VIC/ADDA10/85/375

Professor Keller thanks Dr. Becker for his letter of 24 July and for agreeing to his wish regarding the print of the Disputation. He states that the Abduction of Helen is not in the catalogue of drawings in the Düsseldorf Academy and was probably in the private possession of the Director, Dr. Krahe, or of the Elector Palatine. He has no information about the present whereabouts of the drawing. An engraving after this drawing appears in a edition of prints after old master drawings in the Academy, Dr. Krahe's collection and the Elector Palatinate's Gallery published in 1781 under the title Nouvelle Collection d'Estampes...tirées de la collection de l'Académie...de Düsseldorf et de celle de Mr Krahe, ainsi que de la Gallerie de S.A.S.E. Palatine..., but the Academy does not possess a copy of this work. Keller promises to try to find one.

He adds, however, that the Academy still has a number of the [copper] plates from the book, although that of the Abduction of Helen is missing, and was perhaps given to the owner of the drawing. But the plates include an etching after a drawing representing a battle, which was probably originally by Raphael and which is in the Academy, although not included by Passavant. Unfortunately most of the drawing has been roughly inked over by another hand, and the etching is very poor. Professor Müller wishes to make a few prints from the plate, and if Dr. Becker would like one, Keller asks to be informed.

Keller adds, further, that he himself made an etching after a drawing by Raphael in Rome, many years ago, for the late Dr. Emil Braun. It represents a Madonna and Christ child with St John, and may have been a preliminary sketch for La Belle Jardinière. It is a very simple drawing with few strokes. If Dr. Becker would like a copy, he would be glad to send one.

Dr. Becker noted at the top of the letter that he had accepted both offers with gratitude, in a letter dated 8 August 1858 (no copy present).

Related Material: For related correspondence, see VIC/ADDA10/85/394, which repeats and enlarges on some of what is said in this letter.
  • Creator(s)

    Joseph von Keller (1811-73) (writer)

    Dr Ernst Becker (1826-88)

    (addressee)

  • 1 document (6 pages) (whole object)

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