One hundred thousand digital reproductions of masterpieces of art are now free online. Free and without limitations. This was announced last Tuesday by Paris Musées that oversees 14 municipal museums in Paris among which are the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Petit Palais and Catacombes de Paris.
Users can download a file containing a high resolution (300 DPI) photograph of the work, a text with information on it and a guide for better use as well as reference to the photograph’s sources.
Digital access is now free to masterpieces by renowned artists such as Rembrandt, Courbet, Delacroix and Van Dyck, as well as by others lesser known. Now, one can use the charming portrait of the art dealer Ambroise Vollard painted by Cézanne in 1899. Or the 1857 work “The Young Ladies on the Banks of the Seine” by Courbet. Or many photographs by Eugène Atget, who with his photographic lens had captured and immortalized Paris in the old days.
“Making this data available guarantees that our digital files can be freely accessible and reusable by anyone and everyone, without any technical, legal or financial constraints, either for commercial purposes or otherwise,” reads the announcement by the Paris Musées. In addition, on its website, the works will be included in virtual exhibitions to emphasize their accessibility and to encourage users to download and reuse them.