The Italian Sculpture section comprises 17,000 photographs of sculptures from the 11th to the 20th century.
Although they stem from piecemeal and unsystematic collecting, differently from what Zeri practised in relation to painting, the materials are well arranged and reflect the topical issues in the historiographycal debate of the scholar's day. Special interest attaches to the many photos from the antiques market, showing works that are hard to trace today.
The photos are often by well-known Italian and foreign art photographers like Alinari, Anderson, Brogi, Moscioni and Naya.
The Renaissance is the best documented period with 5,491 photographs of sculptures from the 15th and 16th centuries.
A place of honour in the section is held by the Brogi collection devoted to Donatello: almost 1,000 photographs documenting the sculptor's practice throughout Tuscany and other works by him at Padua, Venice and Naples. These photos taken by Gino Malenotti for the firm of Brogi were part of a monumental campaign in the mid 1930s got up by the Hungarian scholar Jenö Lányi (1902-1940). They would form the basis of a monograph published by Horst Woldemar Janson in 1957.
The Donatello photographs were the fruit of a special study on how to reproduce sculpture. They are one of the few surviving collections from that photographic campaign, integral sets of which have become extremely rare.
Another important item is the body of 374 photographs of works by Pietro and Gianlorenzo Bernini which attest to Zeri's research into these artists.