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The Lightbox celebrates the opening of Raphael: Prince Albert’s Passion

7th October 2020

On Friday 2 October 2020, The Lightbox celebrated the opening of the much-anticipated exhibition, Raphael: Prince Albert’s Passion (open until 31 January 2021).

The only gallery in the UK to be mounting an exhibition about the artist in the 500th year since his death, the show relays the fascinating story of Prince Albert’s passion for Raphael and his creation of the Raphael Collection at Windsor Castle. As featured in The Sunday Times, the Raphael drawings from the Royal Collection are at the heart of the exhibition and several of them are shown in a specially designed space, courtesy of V4 Wood Flooring. Most of the drawings included in the display were made in preparation for major commissions, but they are important as individual works of art and reveal the artist’s working methods. 

30 Lightbox Supporters, Exhibition Circle members and Trustees attended the intimate private view. The evening began with drinks and speeches by the Director of The Lightbox, Marilyn Scott, and by Michael Regan, Curator of the show, before the group was split in two to view the exhibition in accordance with social distancing guidelines.

Marilyn Scott began the speeches by expressing her thanks to The Royal Collection and other lenders, including the Duke of Buccleugh and Boughton House, “as well as V4 Flooring, sponsors of the exhibition and responsible for creating the wonderful room which contains the stunning Raphael drawings on loan from the Royal Collection Trust.” Of the organisation’s supporters, she said, “What we’ve seen over the last few months is really extraordinary. We’ve had a massive number of donations and new members who’ve joined us – even though they knew they couldn’t even come to the gallery, and so now we’re at over 1,000 Members which really is incredible. The support from our community has been astonishing and we are so grateful.”

About the exhibition, Michael Regan noted, “the history of the show goes back about seven years, when I was on a tour of the library of Windsor Castle. I was offered the opportunity to see this amazing piece of furniture – a huge ornate cabinet, which houses the Raphael Collection (over 4,600 objects) inside it. It was clear” Michael added, “that Prince Albert was hugely passionate about the Italian Renaissance artist.

“The exhibition was influenced by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, but it does not include what you might expect to see at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle. It’s personal, and intimate. The artwork is from their private apartments or homes, gifts to and from one another, amassing to the Raphael Collection we see today. This very special show,” Michael concludes, “provides an insight into their own very personal collecting habits.”

A series of talks, tours and workshops delving deeper into the artist’s work and the Prince Consort’s passion for the artist are scheduled alongside the exhibition. Raphael: Prince Albert’s Passion is on show at The Lightbox until 31 January 2021. For further information please visit