Ars Longa Blog

Ars Longa is a blog series exploring photographic documentation of lost, altered, and destroyed works of art—unique and invaluable resources in the Photoarchive, the founding collection of the Frick Art Reference Library.

  • Ars Longa: The Turbulent Fate of Raphael's Baronci Altarpiece

    Reproductions in the Frick’s Photoarchive allow us to piece together a full visual history of Raphael’s Baronci Altarpiece, the first recorded commission of the High Renaissance master. The altarpiece—today found only in fragments—sat peacefully for nearly three hundred years until a devastating earthquake and looting by Napoleon changed its fate permanently.
  • Ars Longa: Documenting a Trove of Frescoes Nearly Lost to War

    The Camposanto complex in Pisa, Italy, housed some of the most significant fresco paintings from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries—until their near destruction during World War II. The Frick Art Reference Library’s Photoarchive contains images from before the damage and prior to extensive restoration efforts, providing a window into a crucial period in the site’s long history.
  • Ars Longa: Capturing a Revolutionary Restoration

    An image held in the Frick’s Photoarchive shows a statue of King Louis XII of France standing in regal bearing. At the Louvre today, you’ll find the sculpture displayed in three separate pieces. In this post, learn about the moment captured in the Photoarchive and its place in the object’s turbulent physical history.
  • Ars Longa: Photoarchive Retraces History of Separated Rubens Paintings

    Ars Longa is a blog series exploring lost, altered, and destroyed works of art that are preserved in the records of the Frick's Photoarchive. In this post, the Photoarchive helps us uncover the complex history of a painting by the circle of Peter Paul Rubens, two separate panels of which today reside in two different museums.
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