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The Metropolitan Museum of Art is giving you over 400,000 high-res digital images for free

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has announced that more than 400,000 hi-resolution digital images are now able to be downloaded for free.

Images can be downloaded directly from the Museum’s website (for non-commercial use) without permission, with the number of files set to increase as more digital files are added to the collection.

Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat, Vincent  van Gogh

Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat, Vincent van Gogh

While scrolling through the digital library, you’ll be able to tell if an artwork is available to download if it features the acronym OASC (Open Access for Scholarly Content).

Chances of finding your favourite masters are high, too – a quick search revealed Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Caravaggio, Leonardo da Vinci, and even Johannes Vermeer are available.

A Maid Asleep, Johannes Vermeer

A Maid Asleep, Johannes Vermeer

While the Metropolitan Museum of Art is denying downloads for commercial use, museums like the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam allow downloads without restrictions.

The museum’s director Taco Dibbits had to say about their no-restriction downloads: “If they want to have a Vermeer on their toilet paper, I’d rather have a very high-quality image of Vermeer on toilet paper than a very bad reproduction.”

Touché.

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