Benjamin Long with Dr. Phillis Crain
 Benjamin F. Long, IV with Dr. Phyllis Crain
 Over the last 30 years Benjamin
Franklin Long, IV has established an international reputation as a portrait painter and rare contemporary master of the ancient art of “true fresco,” painting directly on wet plaster walls. Born in Texas, Long is the grandson of McKendree Robbins Long (1888-1976), a revivalist preacher and visionary painter whose early art training had grounded him firmly in the Western classical tradition. Benjamin F. Long, IV grew up in Statesville, NC, and studied at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Art Students' League in New York. Traveling to New York City, Long became a member of the
Art Students League and began studying with Robert Beverly Hale and Frank Mason. However, in 1967 he interrupted his art studies to enlist in the Marine Corps, with which he served two years in Vietnam, initially as an Infantry officer and later as a combat artist.

 Upon leaving Vietnam, Long traveled to Italy to apprentice himself to Pietro Annigoni in hopes of studying oil painting but found that Annigoni was no longer painting in oil but in the medium of fresco. Undiscouraged, Long committed himself to Annigoni for almost eight years, working beside him in fresco work and teaching himself to paint in oil.

Benjamin Long painting "St. Paul Writing His Epistles"
Self-portrait: Benjamin F. Long, IV
 Benjamin F. Long, IV Self-Portrait

 After completing several frescos in Italy, including the only painting by a non-Italian at the abbey of Montecassino, Long brought his fresco talent to America. Since 1978, Long has completed 13 frescoes in North Carolina, including a dome at the TransAmerica building in Charlotte.

 Besides his major fresco work, Long has had works in the Royal Academy as well as the Royal Portrait Society. He has exhibited in Florence, London, Paris, Atlanta, San Francisco, and North Carolina, and is represented in major collections in Europe and North and South America. He has lived and worked in Europe for over thirty years and now divides his time between Europe and Asheville, North Carolina. He recently has founded the Fine Arts League of Asheville, a school designed for the needs of the classically trained artist.

 In addition to his fresco painting, he also continues to maintain a thriving career as a portrait painter, whose subjects have included such prominent individuals as former North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt, former Bank of America CEO Hugh L. McColl, Jr. and former UNC System President C.D. Spangler.

His many works, created in churches and public buildings throughout the world, have garnered immense praise and recognition.



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