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The Rijksmuseum Has Released 709K Artworks For Free Online, Including Rembrandts
By Mikelle Leow, 07 Jan 2021
Left: ‘Night Watch, Militia Company of District II under the Command of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq’ by Rembrandt van Rijn (1642). Right: ‘The Milkmaid’ by Johannes Vermeer (1660). Images via Rijksmuseum
Back in 2012, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam announced its vision to digitize its collection of artworks to “bring the museum closer to you” and make art education accessible to all.
The museum’s digital archive has since expanded tremendously, and it now has 709,622 images stored in Rijksstudio—its platform for free and high-resolution art, Open Culture reports. Among the collection are the paintings of Rembrandt van Rijn and Johannes Vermeer.
The recent rollout is most timely—Friso Lammertse, a curator of 17th-century Dutch painting at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, shared that “in this time of forced isolation,” the art of Vermeer “can point us at the fact that extreme beauty can be found just in our room.” Visitors to the site can take comfort in the visual reminders of how creators of the past had turned to art to cope with loneliness and loss.
To aid learning, the artworks arrive with additional context and can be zoomed into for closer inspection. They’re so “supersharp,” the Rijksmuseum even recommends creating prints out of them or using them in your projects.
Screenshot via Rijksmuseum
To be able to download, share and edit images from the platform’s exhaustive archive, you will first need to create a free Rijksmuseum account. The Rijksstudio makes learning even more enjoyable by also allowing you to self-curate art collections.
Due to the COVID-19 situation, the museum will remain closed until 19 January. Thankfully, you can still explore—and even use—its material come rain or shine on the Rijksstudio portal.
‘Self-portrait’ by Rembrandt van Rijn (1628). Image via Rijksmuseum
‘The Milkmaid’ by Johannes Vermeer (1660). Image via Rijksmuseum
‘Portrait of a Couple, Probably Isaac Abrahamsz Massa and Beatrix van der Laen’ by Frans Hals (1622). Image via Rijksmuseum
‘Blue Macaw’ by Meissener Porzellan Manufaktur (1731). Image via Rijksmuseum
‘Venus and Adonis’ by Ferdinand Bol (1658). Image via Rijksmuseum
‘Still Life with a gilded Beer Tankard’ by Willem Claesz. Heda (1634). Image via Rijksmuseum
[via Open Culture, images via Rijksmuseum]
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