Greek (Hellenistic), Nike of Samothrace, ca. 190 BCE, Musée du Louvre, Paris
The Louvre – maybe the most famous museum in the world — has launched a new website. Its central feature is a collections database that gives you access to nearly half a million works of art (they claim that the museum’s entire collection is now online, although this is probably not even all of it). This is a major upgrade from the Louvre’s old site, which included only a limited selection of works, often with images too small to be very useful.
For many of the Louvre’s treasures, a variety of images are now available (including details and alternate views), which is an especially welcome feature. You can download these images at a maximum of 1500 pixels, which is a reasonable size for using in a PowerPoint presentation, but not large enough for publication. Keep in mind that the Louvre is still not an open-access institution, so while you may use these images for personal study or teaching, you are not allowed to publish or otherwise distribute them. And although much of the museum’s website is available in English, most of the information in the collections database is only in French.
ARTstor has just released the first 4000 of a projected 12,000 images from the Réunion des Musées Nationaux (RMN), the premier photo agency for works of art in French museums. Along with the collections of major Parisian institutions like the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay, the RMN’s holdings also include works in many of France’s palaces and regional museums. The addition of RMN images instantly boosts the strength of ARTstor’s collections of both French art in general and non-French art housed in French museums. This is easily one of the most significant ARTstor releases in recent years.
You can read more about the RMN collection in ARTstor here.
A few more art-related items in the recent headlines:
An obituary for Cy Twombly, 1928-2011. The American artist, best known for making paintings that look like blackboard scribbles, died on July 5th at age 83.
An architectural review of Zaha Hadid’s Guangzhou Opera House in China.
An article on Samuel F. B. Morse’s Gallery of the Louvre. The painting, currently on view at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, is one subject in David McCullough’s new book, The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris.