Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hi-res images on Rijksmuseum website

Hi res images in Rijksmuseum: Vermeer, Rembrandt, Floris van Dijk, Peter de Hooch, Van Gogh, Monet
One thing I can never seem to get enough of is high resolution images of great art, and it seems like more and more are cropping up each day — one of the little gifts bestowed upon us by the globe spanning lattice of zooming bits we affectionately call the web.

Peacay, author of the amazing blog, BibliOdyssey (see my posts here and here), was kind enough to point out recently that the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, one of the world’s great museums, is now posting high resolution images of almost all of the works featured in their online collections. This practice extends right down to the posters and prints in their shop.

While not as stunningly high-resolution as the images on the Google Art Project (my post here), these can be viewed whole more easily and they go way beyond the selection offered there.

You can search the collections, or, as I prefer to do, browse through their lists of artists alphabetically; find someone you’re interested in, say, Vermeer (grin), and see a selection of the works available for viewing online.

Click on a thumbnail image to access the detail page for a given work, for example, The Little Street, and click on the plus sign or link for “Extra large view of the image” below the preview image to see the larger version (images above, top, with detail crop below it).

Some enlargements are higher in resolution and have more detail than others, but all I’ve encountered have been large enough to be worthwhile.

The collection includes artists who are quite famous, like Rembrandt (images above, 3rd and 4th down), a little less famous, like Pieter de Hooch (above, 7th and 8th down), and lesser known but wonderful artists like still life painter Floris van Dijck (above, 5th and 6th down).

The museum’s online collection also contains gems you might not expect, like one of Van Gogh’s beautifully textural ink drawings, or a stunning Monet.

It’s also worth coming back through the front of the site and exploring that way, though I find the artist listings the most rewarding in terms of high resolution images. You could spend a lot of rewarding time here just checking out artists with whom you’re not familiar.

If your taste for great northern European art (and others) is anything like mine, I’ll issue my standard Major Time Sink Warning.

[Thanks also to Valentino Radman and Lok Jansen for mentions of high res images at the Rijksmuseum.]

6 thoughts on “Hi-res images on Rijksmuseum website

  1. Charley Parker Post author

    Reasonably hi-res images are available for free if you create a free account and click “Personal Use” during the download process (which, admittedly, is overly complex). I was just now able to download a free image of Adriaen Coorts’s Stilleven met asperges at a resolution of 2072×2564.

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