Arguably the most famous art museum in the world has put its entire collection online.
The Louvre Museum in Paris has put nearly 500,000 items from its collection online for art lovers to peruse at their leisure for free.
Just go to the museum’s collections webpage, and you will find a treasure trove of some of the greatest works in art history, including items that are in storage at the Louvre.
The website France 24 quotes the Louvre’s president-director, Jean-Luc Martinez, as saying:
“It’s a step that has been in preparation for several years with the aim of serving the general public as well as researchers. Accessibility is at the heart of our mission.”
NPR notes that major institutions have been digitizing their collections for years, but the Louvre’s efforts are special. Every image online is listed with data such as:
- Inventory number
- Materials and techniques
- Date and place of production
- Object history
- Current location
You can browse the online works by type of art, such as sculptures, or themed albums, such as portraitures.
Other research tools include:
- Full-text search engine
- Advanced search form
- Features that filter search results according to date of creation, collection the work belongs to, where the work is located, category of work, artist/maker
- Interactive map of works on display in the museum
Like many institutions, the Louvre closed its doors in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. It briefly reopened during the summer but has had to close again as France struggles with a new spike in coronavirus infections.