14 Paris Museums Put 300,000 Works of Art Online: Download Classics by Monet, Cézanne & More

First trips to Paris all run the same risk: that of the muse­ums con­sum­ing all of one’s time in the city. What those new to Paris need is a muse­um-going strat­e­gy, not that one size will fit all. Tai­lor­ing such a strat­e­gy to one’s own inter­ests and pur­suits requires a sense of each muse­um’s col­lec­tion, some­thing dif­fi­cult to attain remote­ly before Paris Musées opened up its online col­lec­tions por­tal.

There, a counter tracks the num­ber of art­works from the muse­ums of Paris dig­i­tized and uploaded for all the world to see, which as of this writ­ing comes in at 321,055. 150,222 images, notes a counter below, are in the pub­lic domain, and below that, anoth­er counter reveals that the archive now con­tains 621,075 pieces of dig­i­tal media in total.

Among these, writes Hyper­al­ler­gic’s Valenti­na Di Lis­cia, “mas­ter­pieces by renowned artists such as Rem­brandt, Gus­tave Courbet, Eugène Delacroix, and Antho­ny van Dyck, among many oth­er famil­iar and less­er-known names, can now be accessed and enjoyed dig­i­tal­ly.”

She high­lights “Paul Cézanne’s enchant­i­ng 1899 por­trait of the French art deal­er Ambroise Vol­lard,” pic­tures tak­en by “Eugène Atget, the French pho­tog­ra­ph­er known for doc­u­ment­ing and immor­tal­iz­ing old Paris,” and Gus­tave Courbet’s Les demoi­selles des bor­ds de la Seine, which became “the sub­ject of con­tro­ver­sy at the Paris Salon of 1857 for what some deemed an indeco­rous and even sen­su­al por­tray­al of work­ing class women.”

Paul Cezanne (1839–1906). “Rochers et branch­es à Bibé­mus”. Huile sur toile. Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, Petit Palais.

Paris Musées over­sees the four­teen City of Paris Muse­ums, includ­ing the Musée d’Art Mod­erne de la Ville de Paris and the Petit Palais as well as the Mai­son de Balzac and Mai­son de Vic­tor Hugo. That last now has a vir­tu­al exhi­bi­tion up called “Light and Shade,” which, through the illus­tra­tions of Hugo’s lit­er­ary works, reveals the “fren­zy of images that adorned 19th cen­tu­ry lit­er­a­ture,” from “the blos­som­ing of the roman­tic vignette, to the flood of pop­u­lar edi­tions, and the swan­song of those col­lec­tors’ edi­tions cel­e­brat­ing the glo­ries of the Third Repub­lic.” The “the­mat­ic dis­cov­er­ing” sec­tion of Paris Musées por­tal also fea­tures sec­tions on car­i­ca­tures of Vic­tor Hugo, on the 18th cen­tu­ry, on por­traits, and on Paris in the year 1900, when Art Nou­veau made it “the cap­i­tal of Europe.”

“Users can down­load a file that con­tains a high def­i­n­i­tion (300 DPI) image, a doc­u­ment with details about the select­ed work, and a guide of best prac­tices for using and cit­ing the sources of the image,” writes Di Lis­cia. Shown here are Claude Mon­et Soleil couchant sur la Seine à Lava­court, effet d’hiver, Célestin Nan­teuil’s La Cour des Mir­a­cles, Léon Bon­nat’s Por­trait de M. Vic­tor Hugo, Cézanne’s Rochers et branch­es à Bibé­mus, and a post­card for the Expo­si­tion uni­verselle de Paris 1889. These images are released under a CC0 (Cre­ative Com­mons Zero) license, and “works still in copy­right will be avail­able as low def­i­n­i­tion files, so users can still get a feel for the muse­ums’ col­lec­tions online.” Do bear in mind that Paris Musées does not have under its umbrel­la that most famous muse­um of all, the Lou­vre. If you’re look­ing to get a feel for that world-renowned des­ti­na­tion’s for­mi­da­ble col­lec­tion, you may just have to vis­it it — a cul­tur­al task that neces­si­tates a bat­tle plan of its own.

via Hyper­al­ler­gic

Relat­ed Con­tent:

1.8 Mil­lion Free Works of Art from World-Class Muse­ums: A Meta List of Great Art Avail­able Online

The Met­ro­pol­i­tan Muse­um of Art Makes 375,000 Images of Fine Art Avail­able Under a Cre­ative Com­mons License: Down­load, Use & Remix

Down­load 100,000 Free Art Images in High-Res­o­lu­tion from The Get­ty

The Art Insti­tute of Chica­go Puts 44,000+ Works of Art Online: View Them in High Res­o­lu­tion

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

A 3D Ani­mat­ed His­to­ry of Paris: Take a Visu­al Jour­ney from Ancient Times to 1900

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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  • Richard Rosenthal says:

    Some love­ly work and I appre­ci­ate its being post­ed but I can t help but won­der what the prove­nance of these beau­ti­ful art­works is vis a vi WW2 do we know that none of this work changed hands dur­ing that con­flict, I may be betray­ing my igno­rance but I do won­der who are the right­ful own­ers kind of these bril­liant works, frankly the his­to­ry of the French dur­ing the war is ques­tion­able their record of col­lab­o­ra­tion in long although punc­tu­at­ed by some acts of real hero­ism I cn t help but ques­tion how many of the own­ers of these works were loaded into box­cars and cheer­ful­ly shipped off to the camps by the French who were hap­py to see them gone kind of puts the turd in the pool for me, hope I am wrong but I won­der if there isn t blood on some of these mas­ter­pieces but hey that’s just me don t let it spoil your day.

  • Mario Larenas says:

    Thanks great oppor­tu­ni­ty


    Can u list the web sites WHERE these trea­sures can be viewed/donloaded???

  • Martin says:

    Kath­leen, it’s right there in the first para­graph.

  • Hannelore Nadolny says:

    Je serai a Paris pen­dant 4 jours. Quels musées ont doit vis­iter (pas Lou­vre ni expo­si­tion de Leonar­do da Vin­ci)

    Mer d’a­vance

  • Michael O’Connor says:

    This is fan­tas­tic

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