Fondazione Federico Zeri (Università di Bologna)

Michelangelo Buonarroti. Volto della sibilla Delfica, 16th century. Palazzi Vaticani, Cappella Sistina, Città del Vaticano. Image provided by Fondazione Federico Zeri, Università di Bologna.

Artstor has collaborated with the Fondazione Federico Zeri, Università di Bologna to share more than 28,000 photographs of 16th century Italian paintings in the Digital Library. With support from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and Artstor, the Fondazione has digitized these photographs from the archive of Federico Zeri (1921-1998). A pre-eminent art historian of Medieval and Renaissance art, Zeri devoted his scholarship to placing Italian paintings in their social and historical context. To this end, Zeri amassed what he called in 1995 "the world's greatest private archive on Italian painting," the fototeca Zeri. Over the course of his distinguished career, Zeri collected thousands of photographs from museums, private collections, auction houses, photographers, and restorers, also acquiring entire archives compiled by other scholars, collectors, and antiquarians. There are 150,000 images devoted to Italian painting alone; a subset of these images, representing 16th century works, will be added to Artstor. The archive features extensive photographic campaigns devoted to individual works of art, including details, restoration documentation, and multiple copies of the same painting taken at different times in its history. Many works that are now missing or have been damaged are exclusively documented in the Zeri archive, making it an essential reference resource for researchers and scholars in the field of Italian painting.

In 1999, the Università di Bologna established the Fondazione Federico Zeri as a center for advanced research in humanistic studies specializing in the history of art. Upon his death, Federico Zeri had bequeathed his house in Mentana, Italy to the university. His bequest included an art library of approximately 85,000 volumes and a photographic archive of approximately 290,000 photographs.