In collaboration with Art Resource, Artstor has published more than 14,000 images of world art and architecture from the archives of noted photographer Erich Lessing (1923-2018). The selection prioritizes the work of key artists from the major western schools, from the leading museums of Europe, while it also documents art and architecture in Asia and the Middle East. Canonical works have been targeted — those most frequently consulted by Artstor users, ranging from the Venus of Willendorf to Raphael’s Sistine Madonna, and from da Vinci’s Mona Lisa to Manet’s Olympia. Given the high resolution of the reproductions, the Lessing collection represents Artstor’s commitment to improving the image quality of works already in the Digital Library. The images were scanned from the large-format color transparencies (4” x 5” or 8” x 10”) that Lessing produced over the course of his distinguished career.

Erich Lessing was born in 1923 in Vienna and he devoted his life to photography — first as a photojournalist for the Associated Press, and a member of the photographer’s collective Magnum Photos, and later as an art photographer. His journalistic work has been published in leading magazines and his art photographs have appeared in more than 60 books. Lessing taught photography and he was recognized with numerous international awards.

The Lessing Photo Archive comprises over 40,000 large-format color transparencies that document the diversity of Lessing’s photographic oeuvre — arts, archaeology, architecture, history, portraits and culture.

Established in 1968, Art Resource is the world’s largest stock photo archive of fine art, serving as the principal source of fine art images for commercial and scholarly publications in the United States. It also functions as the official rights and permissions representative for a wide range of museums and visual arts archives around the world.