This wonderful archive was created by Florentine art connoisseur Count Alessandro Contini-Bonacossi to supplement his own knowledge and understanding of art and in support of his growing collection of paintings. After he passed away in 1955, the collection was acquired by another antiquarian, and later passed on to Vanderbilt University. Today it is used by a number of art historians, as it contains over 50,000 photographs of art objects created in Europe during the 13th through 20th centuries. Currently over half of the photographs reside on this site, their digitization made possible by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. It should be noted that the collection is particularly strong in Italian art, featuring works from well-known artists like Botticelli and Tintoretto. Visitors can use the search engine to look around by keyword or subject heading and view each object in great detail. Each record contains detailed descriptions, links to enlarged images and full subject headings.
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