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A woodcut showing the Emperor Maximilian in a triumphal chariot.
This large woodcut, over 2 metres in length, was originally planned as part of a huge printed frieze. The work, undertaken by a team of designers and woodblock cutters, was to show a triumph
Highlights from the print collection

An introduction to the print collection of the Royal Collection

The Paper Museum of Cassiano dal Pozzo

Vincenzo Leonardi (fl. 1621–46), Head of a white stork. Watercolour and bodycolour over black chalk, 20.8 x 27.1 cm. Windsor, RCIN 928740©

During the course of the seventeenth century, the Roman patron and collector Cassiano dal Pozzo and his younger brother Carlo Antonio assembled a 'Paper Museum' of c.10,000 watercolours, drawings and prints, covering antiquities, architecture, zoology, botany and geology, and (among the prints) social customs and ceremonies, costumes, portraits, topography and military maps. The collection was one of the most significant attempts before the age of photography to embrace human knowledge in visual form. Most of the Dal Pozzo collection was acquired by George III in 1762, as part of the collection of Cardinal Alessandro Albani.

The Paper Museum reflects the taste and intellectual breadth of Cassiano (1588-1657), one of the most learned and enthusiastic of all seventeenth-century Roman collectors. Cassiano was secretary to Cardinal Francesco Barberini (nephew of Pope Urban VIII), a friend of Galileo, a member of the scientific Accademia dei Lincei, and a correspondent with intellectuals all over Europe. Cassiano was also Nicolas Poussin's major patron, and ranged across the artistic, archaeological, scientific and political fields of his day to create a unique visual encyclopaedia.

Pietro Anichini after Jan van den Hoecke, Portrait of Cassiano dal Pozzo, engraving, 225 x 165 mm. Frontispiece to Carlo Dati’s Delle lodi del Commendatore Cassiano dal Pozzo, Florence 1664©

A complete catalogue of the surviving portions of the Paper Museum is being published by Royal Collection Trust in twenty Parts, allowing the Paper Museum to be studied in its entirety for the first time since the seventeenth century. Series A covers antiquities and architecture (in ten Parts); Series B covers natural history (in eight Parts); and Series C covers the print collection (in two Parts). Each Part (often in more than one volume) is devoted to a particular subject area of the collection, and is written by leading scholars in that field. Thirty-two volumes have been published so far, thirteen in Series A, thirteen in Series B (now complete), and six in Series C (the prints collection). The cataloguing project is due for completion in 2023, and will be complemented by an online database that will provide unprecedented access to this major source for the intellectual, cultural, artistic and scientific history of seventeenth-century Europe.

Visit the Cassiano Project website

The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.