Charles Thurston Thompson attributed
Johann David Passavant’s two-volume art-historical study on Raphael’s life and work drew international recognition. In the English royal house, for example, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg (1819–1861), the consort of Queen Victoria, used the book as an aid. Thanks to the locations recorded in it, the prince was able to have all Raphael drawings in European collections photographically documented. Passavant also advised him on the development of the so-called “Raphael Collection”. It was in that context that the Städel director acquired photographs of important works by Raphael in the Hampton Court collection: 28 cartoons which had served the artist as models for the Acts of the Apostles tapestries in the
Sistine Chapel. Charles Thurston Thompson had photographed them on Prince Albert’s initiative. The “Raphael Collection” thus contributed greatly to the acceptance and appreciation of photography as an art-historical working material in general–and was also the motivating force behind the systematic amassment of a photography collection at the Städel.