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.
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 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.
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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