Rijksmuseum Digitizes & Makes Free Online 273,000 Works of Art, Masterpieces Included!

in Art | April 7th, 2015


We all found it impressive when Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum put up 125,000 Dutch works of art online. “Users can explore the entire collection, which is handily sorted by artist, subject, style and even by events in Dutch history,” explained Kate Rix in our first post announcing it. ” “Not only can users create their own online galleries from selected works in the museum’s collection, they can download Rijksmuseum artwork for free to decorate new products.”

Het straatje

But we posted that almost two and a half years ago, and you can hardly call the Rijksmuseum an institution that sits idly by while time passes, or indeed does anything at all by half measures: think of their creation of Rembrandt’s Facebook timeline, their commissioning of late Rembrandt canvases brought to life, or of their accommodation of terminally ill patients visiting one last time. And so they’ve kept hard at work adding to their digital archive, which, as of this writing, offers nearly 273,000 works of art. This brings them within shouting distance of having doubled the collection in size since we first wrote about it.


You want the Dutch Masters? You got ’em. You want Rembrandt’s Self-portrait as the Apostle Paul? It’s in the archive, right alongside Night Watch. You want Vermeer’s View of Houses in Delft, better known as The Little Street? It’s in there too. But don’t stop now; the Rijksmuseum has put up a much greater breadth of Dutch art than that. You’ll also find important Dutch painters you may not have heard so much about before, such as the impressionist George Hendrik Breitner, whose Girl in a White Kimono appears just above. And it even includes high-resolution images of works of art and design in other media, such as Michel de Klerk’s 1918 suite of furniture for ‘t Woonhuys, whose armchair you see below. Looks almost good enough to sit in, doesn’t it? You can enter the collection here,  or search the collection here.


Related Content:

The Rijksmuseum Puts 125,000 Dutch Masterpieces Online, and Lets You Remix Its Art

A Final Wish: Terminally Ill Patients Visit Rembrandt’s Paintings in the Rijksmuseum One Last Time

Rembrandt’s Facebook Timeline

16th-Century Amsterdam Stunningly Visualized with 3D Animation

Flashmob Recreates Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch” in a Dutch Shopping Mall

Colin Marshall hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture as well as the video series The City in Cinema and writes essays on cities, language, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.


by | Make a Comment (8)

Comments (8)

  1. Jan Kruk says . . .
    April 7, 2015 / 7:05 pm

    I’m speechless

  2. Louise Montgomery says . . .
    April 8, 2015 / 6:09 pm

    What a wonderful thing! Great universities are allowing people around the world to take courses at no charge, and now great art is online for all to view. Thank you.

  3. Shen Brandt says . . .
    April 9, 2015 / 4:54 am

    Such a fantastic resource!

  4. Neil Williams says . . .
    September 11, 2015 / 5:45 am

    How strange — I read the article and had the same reaction and then read your comment — it is ovewhelming

  5. Nat Gustafson-Sundell says . . .
    October 2, 2015 / 6:59 am

    This is a wonderful website and tool, but unfortunately I don’t think the rights are clear enough. The museum appears to retain copyright, so the right to create derivatives seems to be for personal use only. Is there a clear statement anywhere that commercial derivatives are allowed? If so, that would be great; otherwise, this product seems a little deceiving — freedom to create products for home use seems certain and there is a contest to create products which appear to be commercial — but where are the CC licenses clearly stating the user’s rights?

  6. February 29, 2016 / 4:38 am

    Looking forward to accessing a great free resource

  7. February 29, 2016 / 4:39 am


  8. Ana Xavier says . . .
    October 4, 2016 / 12:41 am

    Good morning and congratulations
    Since I met Rikjsmuseum for the first time, 20 years ago, I always learn a lot.
    I saw children from primary school sitting in front of masterpieces learning and understanding with pleasure and with a smile.
    Quite impossible on that time in Portugal. Now is much better.
    Even the merchandising, copies of jewels or vases or glasses painted from the great artists are beautifull reproductions. I still have one glass from a Rembrandt painting.
    Thank you so much for what you have done for Culture.
    My favourite painter? Vermeer, of course!
    Best regards
    Ana Xavier Cifuentes, from Portugal

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