Here's How To Download Over 100,000 Artworks From Paris Museums For Free Online

Robert Delaunay, (1885-1941), Rythm n°2, décor for the Salon des Tuileries, 1938, oil painting, Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris (Image: Paris Musées)

Art lovers now have more than 100,000 works of art from Paris museums at their fingertips to download and use as they please, courtesy of a recently announced initiative from the Paris Musées.

In an effort to make its massive catalogue of art more accessible to the public, the works have been made available through an online portal where anyone can search for thousands of artworks by discipline, artist, material, date, and more. According to Paris Musées, each download available will contain an HD image in magazine-quality 300 dpi along with a document about the artwork and information related to any citation.

“Making this data available guarantees that our digital files can be freely accessed and reused by anyone or everyone, without any technical, legal or financial restraints, whether for commercial use or not,” Paris Musées said earlier this month. In addition to providing access to high definition imagery of famed works online, Paris Musées added those works “will also be part of virtual exhibitions which will include cultural mediation to provide users with as much information as possible.”

The images are being made available through a CCØ (Creative Commons Zero) licence. Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York have similar programs for making art accessible online to the public, but Paris Musées says it will be the first French institution to follow suit.

To access the works, head to the online portal. As mentioned, digital downloads are offered in super crisp HD. If you’d like to have, say, one or several printed out and put up in your home, you’ll only need to pay for printing and a frame. FedEx, for example, offers printing for images that start at around $US20 ($30) for a 16" by 20" print. If you don’t live near a FedEx location, you can also print online.

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