Fototeca Julian Kliemann

Reference code



Julian Kliemann.


Fondazione Federico Zeri, second office (Fondazione Federico Zeri).




3,855 photographs and postcards

photograph postcard


The collection is arranged by theme following the scholar’s areas of interest. It comprises 4 archivial series: Cycles with historical subject; Iconography; Artists; Miscellaneous. The general structure given by the art historian has been maintained, though there has been a reordering of some individual items.

Scope and content

The collection comprises 2,507 photo objects (silver gelatin prints and negatives in various formats) as well as 1,348 postcards. The folders mainly document fresco cycles reproduced in photos by the best-known art photographers (Fratelli Alinari, Brogi, Noack). Special interest attaches to the photo objects that Kliemann was personally commissioned to produce in order to document the less accessible decorative cycles, entailing originals, unpublished or little known shots.


Artists, schools, periods

Baroque Giorgio Vasari 17th century Renaissance 15th century Mannerism 16th century Federico Zuccari David Bailly

Genres and themes

ancient history painting portrait history painting iconography of Charles V iconography of Aristotle fresco painting

Other contents

gelatin silver process fresco painting Fratelli Alinari Castello Orsini-Odescalchi Villa Medicea del Poggio Imperiale Palazzo della Corgna, Castiglione del Lago Palazzo Vitelli a Sant'Egidio ospedale di Santo Spirito in Sassia Palazzo Belimbau Palazzo Cattaneo-Adorno Villa Medici

History of collection

Kliemann's photo library began to take on its structure probably at the end of the 1980s, when the scholar intensified his research into history painting and cycles of frescoes with historical subjects between the 15th and 17th centuries. At that time, or at the beginning of the Nineties, date back more than 300 photos mounted on large format cartoons, with wide margins as passe-partouts, accompanied by pencil notes and carefully preserved in custom-made boxes. Once the initial nucleus had been completed, Kliemann did not stop setting up his photographic archive, articulating it according to the most recent study interests: iconographic research on Charles V and Aristotle, studies on artists such as Giorgio Vasari, Federico Zuccari, David Bailly. In early 2018, at the behest of the Carl-Heinz and Helga Kliemann Foundation and his wife Carlotta Fonzi, the photo library that belonged to the scholar was donated to the Federico Zeri Foundation.


donation. 2018.



Finding Aids

Folder level description with keywords related to the subjects of postcards and photos stored inside.


partially restricted (access by appointment)

Online resources

archival description

archivists say

The originality of Kliemann's photo library lies not only in the presence of phototypes that document sometimes inaccessible frescos, but also in the special thematic arrangement of the materials, which are grouped according to decorative cycles or depicted subjects. This organization is the result of the interests of the scholar who was mainly engaged in research between iconography, criticism of sources, history of society and - to a lesser extent - active in the attributive practices of connoisseurship.

related nuclei and collections

The scholar’s book collection of roughly 5,000 volumes has been absorbed into the Zeri Library and is currently open to consultation.