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Prince Albert's Personal Papers

Papers relating to Prince Albert’s personal life and enthusiasms


Preliminary report by Professor Andreas Müller on his discovery of an engraving by Raphael in the collection of the Düsseldorf Academy.

8 Mar 1860

Loose manuscript paper; mounted | 1 document (4 pages) (whole object) | RA VIC/ADDA10/85/456

Müller states that in the collection of engravings at the Academy there is a small engraving showing the Virgin Mary seated on clouds with the Christ child to her right, leaning against her; on the clouds are three small angels a little more than half length, and the head of a fourth appears half hidden behind the clouds on which Mary is seated. In the old catalogue of the collection it was attributed to Baptiste Franco and later to Marcantonio (Raimondi). When Müller took charge of the collection he was struck by its beauty and was at once convinced that it was by Raphael himself, but lacked the means to prove it.

In volume 14 of Adam von Bartsch's work, the same composition, in contre-partie, is listed as No. 47 among the works of Marcantonio and described as a very fine engraving after Raphael, but Müller did not at first have access to the Marcantonio engraving in order to compare it to the Düsseldorf engraving. When he was able to compare the two, there was no doubt that the Marcantonio was inferior, which confirmed Müller in his belief that the Düsseldorf piece was by Raphael himself, and his subsequent research has produced surprising results, if not 'mathematical proofs' of his opinion.

His full memoir recording all his research will be published in Düsseldorf by Julius Baddeus, but publication is being held up because in order to include an illustration it has been necessary to commission the engraver Franz Keller to make a copy of the engraving, as a photographic reproduction cannot show the detail required.

Müller adds a note that Bartsch recorded four more copies of this supposed engraving by Marcantonio, while Passavant mentioned a fifth in volume 2 of his Life of Raphael, p.336 no. 19 in the German edition, and these are not the only ones in existence. In Passavant's latest publication, Müller remarks, he mentions the Düsseldorf engraving as a copy by Marcantonio, but states that this engraving, together with two others listed by Bartsch, is of such exceptional quality that they might be by Raphael himself. Passavant regrets that he has to suspend judgment until it is possible to examine and compare them.

Enclosed with VIC/ADDA10/85/457. See VIC/ADDA10/85/471 for Müller's letter sending his published memoir on this engraving to the Prince Consort.

Related Material: For related correspondence, see VIC/ADDA10/85/457 and VIC/ADDA10/85//471.
  • Creator(s)

    Professor Andreas Müller (writer)

  • 1 document (4 pages) (whole object)

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