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Prince Albert and the History of Art

This painting is the outstanding work by Lucas Cranach the Elder (c.1472-1553) in the Royal Collection. It shows the sun god Apollo, admired for his moral standing and physical beauty, and his twin sister Diana or Artemis, goddess of the moon, who was ass

Apollo and Diana ©

Prince Albert belonged to the first generation of students to hear lectures in the new discipline of Art History. Visiting Italy as a nineteen-year-old he had steeped himself in Renaissance painting and made contact with leading scholars, many of them German expatriates. Ludwig Gruner, an engraver from Dresden famous for his prints after Raphael, became the Prince’s artistic adviser in 1842. Gruner acquired for Prince Albert twenty-seven Italian pictures of the kind then known as ‘Primitives’, which were arranged systematically in his Dressing Room at Osborne. Albert also reorganised the Print Room at Windsor, and began a collection of reproductions of the complete work of Raphael.

The North European pictures on display here reflect Prince Albert’s interest in Lucas Cranach the elder, the painter of his Saxon ancestors. In 1847 the Prince lent his relative Prince Ludwig von Oettingen-Wallerstein a sum of money, secured on a collection of seventy-nine predominantly German and Netherlandish paintings that was brought to London and offered for sale. When the loan remained outstanding and no buyers were found, the collection (including nos 105 to 107) was acquired by the Prince.

Duccio di Buoninsegna (active 1278 - before 1319)

Triptych: Crucifixion and other Scenes

Bernardo Daddi (c .1300-c. 1348)

The Marriage of the Virgin

Benozzo Gozzoli (Florence c. 1421/22-Pistoia 1497)

The Fall of Simon Magus

Attributed to Zanobi Strozzi (1412-68)

The Madonna of Humility with Angels

Master of the Misericordia (active c.1360-c.1385)

Calvary; and the Madonna with Eight Saints

Parentino (c. 1450-after 1498)

Saint Sebastian

Pietro Perugino (Città della Pieve c.1450-Fontignano 1523)

Saint Jerome in Penitence

? Vatican Workshops


Pieter Coeck van Aelst (1502-50)

The Adoration of the Kings

GB Monogrammist (d. 1574)


Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553)

Apollo and Diana

Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553)