Online Art

Many museums and organizations around the world are providing access to their art online for free, often in hi-resolution. Below is a partial list of these organizations, with links that allow convenient access to these collections.

Art Cyclopedia

The Art Cyclopedia provides links to many museums and collections worldwide, however not all or these sources provide hi-resolution images


Very large collection of current artists selling their works. Downloads are not generally possible, but hi-resolution images can be viewed

Barnes foundation

The Barnes Foundation makes many images available online, but they are not typically available in high resolution. Nevertheless, it provides access to many sketches and studies done by famous artists that are not available elsewhere

British library

This is the Flickr site of the British Library and contains about a million images scanned from books from the 17th to 19th centuries

Center for Research and Restoration of the Museums of France -- Mona Lisa

You can't see the Mona Lisa right now in person, and even if you could you would likely have been faced with this. But on this website (and for me at least, only with Internet Explorer), you can get close, really close, to that shading, which even with the cracks in paint that have emerged after the passage of five hundred years, maintains the astonishing effects that Leonardo intended around history's most famous smile.

Dallas Museum of Art

The Dallas Museum has a very nice interface with many hi-resolution images available for viewing and downloading

Digital Public Library of America

The DPLA has an enormous amount of material including photographs, maps and artworks for viewing and downloading

Freer Sackler (at Smithsonian)

The Freer Sackler makes its entire collection available digitally, which consists mainly of American and Asian Art, which can be viewed and in many cases, downloaded

Getty Museum

The Getty provides more than a hundred thousand items online, many of which are photographs (about 97,000). The number of paintings accessible is more modest (about 500)

Google Art Project

The Google Art Project has been adding the number of organizations it works with to allow online access to rare art. Images typically can't be downloaded, but within its confines, its possible to get extremely close views of thousands of works of art.

jean louis mazieres

This is the flickr feed of Jean Louis Mazieres, who according to his 'about' blurb was "born in 1947 and retired from the public service. Paris." He doesn't say much more there, but he has been taking very high quality pictures of paintings and other artworks all over Europe and posting them on his feed, where there now are (as of August 2018) almost 40,000 images.

Metropolitan Museum

More than 200,000 items are accessible on the Met's website including over 5000 paintings

the Morgan Library and Museum

Pierpont Morgan's immense holdings ranged from Egyptian art to Renaissance paintings to Chinese porcelains

Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza (Madrid)

The MTB provides about a thousand paintings online, many are downloadable in high resolution

National Gallery (US)

The NGA makes about 51,000 images available online

National gallery (UK)

The National Gallery has an extensive online collection with an intuitive interface

Princeton Museum

A modest collection available with a nice online interface

Princeton Pearlman collection

The collection of the Henry and Rose Pearlman Foundation

Rijks Museum

The Rijks' online collection is grouped by genre, but a search function allows for the location of specific artists on demand

Te Papa (New Zealand) Museum

Works from artists that can't be seen anywhere else. This is a unique collection that contains items that document the culture of the islands that now form New Zealand, along with other treasures

van Gogh Museum

Over three thousand works (not just van Gogh's) are available at the van Gogh museum's site

Welcome Collection

Most of the works in the Welcome collection acquired between 1890 and 1936 by Sir Henry Wellcome and his agents across the globe, and reflect the cultural and historical contexts of health and medicine

Yale Art Museum

Yale has one of the largest and best collections of great art of any university, and allows access to many of its items to be viewed and downloaded in high resolution

Professor Steven Zucker's feed

Another great, frequently updated, source on flickr; Professor Zucker also has consolidated lists of images here: click