Online museums and art collections: from the Metropolitan to the Google project

How to visit a museum from the comfort of your home? Here we list some of the most important museums in the world that have recently made available part of their collection online for free.
In this short guide: links to two of the most active museums on digital archiving and an overview of the imposing Google Arts & Culture project, in which the works of art are reproduced in the highest possible definition.
Tens of thousands of digital reproductions of thousands of paintings, photographs and sculptures are available, with many masters of modern and contemporary art: Monet, Van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, Toulouse-Lautrec, Munch, Klimt, Degas, Mondrian, Hopper, Picasso, Turner, Klee and dozens of others.

The Paris Museé

The Paris Musée group includes 14 Parisian museums including La Maison de Victor Hugo, the Modern Art Museum, the Vie Romantique Museum, the Zadkine Museum and the Petit Palais Museum of Fine Arts. Each of the participating museums provides digital copies of many of their works for free on the Paris Musée website. For a total of more than 150 thousand high definition images, including authentic masterpieces by Renoir, Courbet, Monet, Cezanne, Morisot.


The Metropolitan Museum

Since 2017, the Metropolitan of New York has made available more than 400 thousand high definition images for free since 2017. Inside this almost boundless collection there are works of art that cover all corners of the world and all periods (5,000 years of work) of all kinds and types: vases, jewellery, photographs, painted sculptures and artifacts. Many important paintings by great masters of modern art are also accessible, such as Van Gogh’s “La berceuse”, Cézanne’s “Apple plate”, Degas’s “The singer in green”, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s “The sofa”, Courbet’s “The fishing boat” and Gauguin’s “La siesta”.


Google Arts and Culture

The Google’s Arts and Culture project has seen the collaboration of over 250 between various institutions and museums around the world and to date it has collected more than 45 thousand objects from art and video, and numerous 360° tours of galleries and exhibitions thanks to the Google Street View technology.
Among the museums that joined the project: the MoMA, the Van Gogh Museum, the Musée d’Orsay, the Hermitage, the Reina Sofia Museum, the J. Paul Gettty Museum, the Munch Museum, the Musée de l’Orangerie, the Frida Kahlo Museum and the Uffizi Gallery.
What makes the difference between any other online archive and the great G’s project of cultural dissemination are the technology, and the very high quality of the images collected: images from 7 to 12 billion pixels obtained with shots that took hours. The result jumps – almost literally – to the eye: zooming the image you can get even the smallest details of the individual brush strokes. Just have a check of this in the reproduction of Van Gogh’s famous Van Gogh’s“Bedroom”.

But the Google project not only allows you to admire some of the most famous paintings in the world, but also to deepen individual cultural paths, thanks to the “stories” created together with specific institutes. Here is a selection of the best stories you may find within Google Arts and Culture:

Target Point, Italian Ideas.