Rijksmuseum Digitizes & Makes Free Online 361,000 Works of Art, Masterpieces by Rembrandt Included!


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 361,000 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.


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Comments (11)
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  • Louise Montgomery says:

    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.

  • Shen Brandt says:

    Such a fan­tas­tic resource!

  • Neil Williams says:

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

  • Nat Gustafson-Sundell says:

    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?

  • Look­ing for­ward to access­ing a great free resource

  • Ana Xavier says:

    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

  • franklin says:

    Great work . Thanks a lot .

  • Jesse Lepkoff says:

    I am look­ing for high res­o­lu­tion images of paint­ings and engrav­ings of baroque musi­cians play­ing music.

    thank You

  • Reinhard says:

    For Aus­tri­ans who speak Eng­lish quite well your ser­vice
    is great to lis­ten to Amer­i­can lec­tures about his­to­ry and basic lan­guage cours­es.
    To down­load e‑books and clas­si­cal movies for free.
    Thank you very much! I like it.
    One sug­ges­tion: you could also add mate­r­i­al relat­ed to
    Aus­tria like Aus­tri­an folk music as MP3 files, pic­tures of the
    Aus­tri­an land­scape, Aus­tri­an lit­er­a­ture in Ger­man orig­i­nal and Eng­lish
    trans­la­tion (copy­right free like Franz Kaf­ka) and pic­tures
    of Aus­tri­an cas­tles and sights of towns and vil­lages and moun­tains
    (for Amer­i­can and Eng­lish speak­ing tourists who want to vis­it Aus­tria).
    Rein­hard from Graz Aus­tria

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