Finding aid prepared by Ann Harrison

Descriptive Summary

Title: Study photographs of ancient mural painting
Date (inclusive): 1900s
Number: 76.P.16
Creator/Collector: Getty Research Institute
Physical Description: 13.8 linear feet (66 boxes)
The Getty Research Institute
Special Collections
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
(310) 440-7390
Abstract: A collection of modern photographs of ancient wall paintings, both in situ and detached, assembled by the Getty Research Institute. The collection's concentration is on works of the Greek, Etruscan, and Roman periods, 6th century BC-6th century AD.
Language: Collection material is in English

Biographical/Historical Note

In 1974, the J. Paul Getty Museum began assembling a "photo library" by consolidating the visual resources of each existing curatorial department. By the early 1980s, the Photo Archive was actively acquiring large collections of photographs from commercial and private sources and scholars' archives that contained a photographic component. In 1983, the nearly one million photographs of the Photo Archive were incorporated into the Research Institute's Special Collections.

Other Finding Aids

The Photo Archive Database  includes photograph level access to approximately 46% of the photographs in this collection.

Administrative Information


Open for use by qualified researchers. For further information, consult the Guide to the Photo Archive and Database .

Publication Rights

Photographs and permission to publish must be obtained from copyright holder(s). For further information, contact Library Reproductions and Permissions .

Processing History

Finding aid created in 2009.

Scope and Content of Collection

An assembled collection of modern photographs of ancient wall paintings, both in situ and detached. The collection's concentration is on works of the Greek, Etruscan, and Roman periods, 6th century BC-6th century AD Photographic coverage is most complete for Greece and Italy, with notable strength in documentation of Etruscan tomb paintings (in Tarquinia and Chiusi in particular) and of mural paintings in Pompeii. The collection also includes photographs of ancient mural paintings from other countries, including Germany, Hungary, Libya, Syria, and Turkey.
The collection includes photographs from different sources, chiefly commercial vendors and photographers, as well as the archives of scholars and research institutions. Among the commercial vendors and photographers are Alinari (including the Anderson and Brogi archives), Bulloz, Chauffourier, Bildarchiv Foto Marburg, Rheinisches Bildarchiv Köln Photographie Giraudon, Hirmer Verlag, Alison Frantz, John Ross, Guntram Koch, Emile Serafis, Giorgio Sommer, and Gabinetto fotografico nazionale (Rome), including the Antonio Giuliano collection.
Institutional archives from which the collection holds images are the Fototeca unione at the American Academy in Rome and the Deutsches Archäologisches Institute (DAI), Rome. Scholarly sources include the repository's Giovanni Becatti archives.


Arranged geographically, by modern country, ancient city, site, and monument.

Indexing Terms

Subjects - Names

Becatti, Giovanni, 1912-1973 -- Photograph collections

Subjects - Topics

Mural painting and decoration, Ancient
Mural painting and decoration, Etruscan
Mural painting and decoration, Greek
Mural painting and decoration, Roman

Genres and Forms of Material

Photographic prints


Becatti, Giovanni, 1912-1973
Frantz, Alison
Getty Research Institute
Giuliano, Antonio
Koch, Guntram
Ross, John
Serafis, Emile
Sommer, Giorgio, 1834-1914

Container List


Study photographs of ancient mural painting

Box 1


Box 2-3


Box 1


Box 4-62


Box 4

Asisium, Boscoreale, Boscotrecase

Box 5

Caere, Capua, Chiusi, Cumae, Fondo Bottaro, Gela

Box 6-8


Box 9

Lunghezza, Oplontis, Orvieto

Box 10-12


Box 13


Box 14-38


Box 14


Box 15-

Houses and villas

Box 15

Region I

Box 16

Region II

Box 17

Region V

Box 18-27

Region VI

Box 28-29

Region VII

Box 30

Region VIII

Box 31-32

Region IX

Box 33-35

Extra portam

Box 36

Other buildings

Box 37-38

Provenience unknown

Box 39

Prima Porta

Box 40-46


Box 40-44

Houses and villas

Box 44


Box 44-46

Tombs and catacombs

Box 46

Miscellaneous paintings

Box 47


Box 48


Box 49-61


Box 62


Box 62

Unknown provenience

Box 63

Libya, Syria, Turkey, Yugoslavia

Box 64-65

Provenience unknown

Box 66*

Oversize photographs