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High-Res Images of Famous Artwork Available for Download

October 26, 2018 Carina Chernisky
Artwork by Gustave Caillebotte; Public Domain

Thousands of high-resolution images of artwork are now available thanks to the Art Institute of Chicago, who released the images into the public domain under a Creative Commons 0 (CC0) license. The collection currently boasts 52,438 images of famous artwork from artists like Claude Monet, Mary Cassatt, Vincent Van Gogh, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The Art Institute continues to add to this open access collection, so that total number will grow.

In addition to providing access to these images, art aficionados will be delighted to learn that the Art Institute enhanced the image viewing capabilities so viewers can now zoom in to see greater detail. Example: check out the paint strokes in Van Gogh’s The Bedroom.

The Institute recently redesigned their website, and made searching through these images much easier. Searchers can filter by date, classification, place, medium, artist, subject, style, and more.

Accompanying each piece is a wealth of information about it, including background information, dimensions, publication history, exhibition history, provenance, multimedia, and educational resources.

Check it out now!

About the header image:


Gustave Caillebotte
(French, 1848-1894)

This complex intersection, just minutes away from the Saint-Lazare train station, represents in microcosm the changing urban milieu of late nineteenth-century Paris. Gustave Caillebotte grew up near this district when it was a relatively unsettled hill with narrow, crooked streets. As part of a new city plan designed by Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann, these streets were relaid and their buildings razed during the artist’s lifetime. In this monumental urban view, which measures almost seven by ten feet and is considered the artist’s masterpiece, Caillebotte strikingly captured a vast, stark modernity, complete with life-size figures strolling in the foreground and wearing the latest fashions. The painting’s highly crafted surface, rigorous perspective, and grand scale pleased Parisian audiences accustomed to the academic aesthetic of the official Salon. On the other hand, its asymmetrical composition, unusually cropped forms, rain-washed mood, and candidly contemporary subject stimulated a more radical sensibility. For these reasons, the painting dominated the celebrated Impressionist exhibition of 1877, largely organized by the artist himself. In many ways, Caillebotte’s frozen poetry of the Parisian bourgeoisie prefigures Georges Seurat’s luminous Sunday on La Grande Jatte—1884, painted less than a decade later.

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