The luminous, life-size Ben Long Frescoes created by world-famous fresco artist Benjamin F. Long IV adorn churches and public building throughout the North Carolina mountains and foothills. Long is one of few artists today to be recognized as a master of the art of fresco-painting on wet plaster, the process used by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel. Because the mixed pigments are absorbed by the plaster, the paintings actually become part of the wall.
After completing studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the Art Students League in New York, Long apprenticed in Florence, Italy, under Maestro Pietro Annigoni for nearly eight years before returning to his native North Carolina. He has completed more than a dozen frescoes paintings in the state, as well as his commissions in France and Italy. Long prefers to paint from life and uses local people as models for his frescoes. Today, he trains students in the artistic traditions of classical realism at his school, the Fine Arts League of the Carolinas.
Long’s Paintings “St. Paul’s Conversion” and “St. Paul Writing His Epistles” can be viewed in the Commons of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Wilkesboro, NC. The painting of St. Paul’s conversion depicts Saul being knocked to the ground on his trip to Damascus and subsequently blinded. The other fresco depicts St. Paul in the process of writing his epistles, which make up over one fourth of the New Testament.
St. Paul’s Commons is currently closed due to COVID-19.
If you’d like to learn more about Ben Long’s frescoes visit: https://www.blueridgeheritage.com/destinations/blue-ridge-frescoes/