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100,000 works of art freely available online


This Wednesday, 14 Parisian museums announced that it was now possible to freely download more than 100,000 digital reproductions of art works from their collections on the Paris Musées site.

Are the days of scrolling through Google images looking for decent reproductions of paintings by Monet or Modigliani finally over? Well, it seems to be case with the Paris Musées website – the umbrella structure for the 14 museums found in the French capital – that is now offering Open Content of more than 100,000 digital reproductions in high definition and copyright-free. From coins dating to before Jesus Christ and works by François Boucher, Gustave Courbet and Eugène Delacroix to Rembrandt drawings, the earliest photographic work of Etienne Carjat and Charles Marville, and abstract art with Robert Delaunay, an entire heritage is now being offered to web users with joyful ease. The images can be viewed and downloaded for free from the website, and are notably accompanied by detailed explanatory notes for those interested in discovering the works further.


Among the fourteen museums in Paris whose collections are now available, are included the Petit Palais, the Modern Art Museum, the Musée Cognacq-Jay and the Musée Carnavalet, that complement each other through the wealth and diversity of their collections. On the website, these can be searched by category, technique, period or colour, giving visitors the chance to navigate between photographs, prints, furniture and porcelains with ease. By making its heritage just one click away, outside the walls of these institutions, Paris Musées demonstrates its will to promote access to culture and to increase visibility of the works. 

François Boucher, “Diane returns from hunting” (1745). Musée Cognacq-Jay, le musée du XVIIIe.

Amedeo Modigliani, “Woman with blue eyes” (1918). Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris.

Paul Cézanne, “Portrait of Ambroise Vollard” (1899). Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris.