Download Over 300+ Free Art Books From the Getty Museum


Yes­ter­day, we wrote about the Well­come Library’s open­ing up of its dig­i­tal archives and mak­ing over 100,000 med­ical images freely avail­able online. If you’ve already made your way through this choice selec­tion (or if the prospect of view­ing a 19th cen­tu­ry leg ampu­ta­tion doesn’t quite pique your curios­i­ty) have no fear. Get­ty Pub­li­ca­tions just announced the launch of its Vir­tu­al Library, where read­ers can freely browse and down­load over 250 art books from the publisher’s back­list cat­a­logue.

The Vir­tu­al Library con­sists of texts asso­ci­at­ed with sev­er­al Get­ty insti­tu­tions. Read­ers can view exten­sive­ly researched exhi­bi­tion cat­a­logues from the J. Paul Get­ty Muse­um, includ­ing Paul Cézan­ne’s late-life water­colours, when the painter raised the still life to a high art (Cézanne in the Stu­dio: Still Life in Water­col­ors, 2004), as well as the woe­ful­ly under­ap­pre­ci­at­ed Flem­ish illus­tra­tions of the 15th and 16th cen­turies (Illu­mi­nat­ing the Renais­sance: The Tri­umph of Flem­ish Man­u­script, 2003).  The col­lec­tion also con­tains detailed trea­tis­es on art con­ser­va­tion from the Get­ty Con­ser­va­tion Insti­tute, and schol­ar­ly works from the Get­ty Research Insti­tute, both of which include a mul­ti­tude of books on spe­cial­ized top­ics. Fan­cy read­ing about the rela­tion­ship between Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel the Elder, the two leg­endary 17th cen­tu­ry painters who lived in the Nether­lands’ city of Antwerp? There’s a book on that. Intrigued by all the pros­ti­tutes in French impres­sion­ism? Try Paint­ed Love: Pros­ti­tu­tion in French Art of the Impres­sion­ist Era (2003). Per­haps you’re par­tial to ancient vas­es, and have already read The Col­ors of Clay (2006), Pots & Plays (2007), and Greek Vas­es (1983)? Don’t wor­ry, the Getty’s vir­tu­al library has at least 8 more vase-ori­ent­ed books.

All of the Getty’s vir­tu­al library vol­umes are avail­able in PDF for­mat, and can be added to your Google Books library. If you’re look­ing for more free art books, don’t miss our post from last year: The Met­ro­pol­i­tan Muse­um of Art and the Guggen­heim Offer 474 Free Art Books Online.

Ilia Blin­d­er­man is a Mon­tre­al-based cul­ture and sci­ence writer. Fol­low him at @iliablinderman.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The British Library Puts 1,000,000 Images into the Pub­lic Domain, Mak­ing Them Free to Reuse & Remix

The Get­ty Puts 4600 Art Images Into the Pub­lic Domain (and There’s More to Come)

The Nation­al Gallery Makes 25,000 Images of Art­work Freely Avail­able Online

Read 700 Free eBooks Made Avail­able by the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia Press

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