The sumptuous facial lips of a 3,000-year-old Egyptian queen and the plump belly of a ninth-century Mexican baby are now yours to enjoy.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has released 375,000 images of works from its collection, without restriction about what you can do with it. The images, all US public domain art, were previously available online, but with certain provisions on commercial use. You can find them to the digital collectionwith “Public Domain Works” checked in the left column.
“[The collection] represents 5,000 years of human effort, culture and thought,” says Lauren Nemroff, chief digital content officer at the Met. She hopes people will create their own works, maybe like these.
The free-to-use images cover 200,000 individual artworks and new images are added every day. This represents about half of the images represented online or about 13% of the museum’s permanent collection of 1.5 million works of art.
Works by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Degas are all available, but the real treasures are the photographs of Met artifacts and relics from the past. A frowning silver face of the Incas or a blue-glazed ancient Egyptian hippopotamus, for example, will always come in handy. Just like the pictures of old British gentlemen.
If that’s not enough, take a look at the British Library’s 1 million images or the New York Public Library’s 180,000.