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A cartoon for the tapestry of Christ's Charge to Peter for the Sistine Chapel. Christ is standing on the left, pointing behind himself to a flock of sheep and in front to the keys held by Peter, who is kneeling. The other disciples stand in a group at the

Discover Prince Albert’s passion for the work of Raphael

Robert Thorburn (1818-85)

Queen Victoria (1819-1901) with Prince Alfred (1844-1900) and Princess Helena (1846-1923) Signed and dated 1847

Watercolour on ivory laid on parchment affixed to board | 45.2 x 33.7 cm (support, canvas/panel/stretcher external) | RCIN 406891

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Queen Victoria commissioned this unusually large miniature for Albert’s birthday (26 August) later that same year. The Queen is portrayed in the guise of a Madonna, with her daughter Princess Helena (held by her mother) as the Christ Child and Prince Alfred standing beside them in the role of St John the Baptist. The inspiration is clearly Raphael’s tender depictions of the Virgin and Child. Victoria recorded in her journal that Albert was ’delighted’ with his gifts from her.