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Download a Masterpiece. It’s Free.

Dutch_Master

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has over 125,000 pieces of artwork, including the famous The Night Watch by Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn. And you can get a high resolution file for each and every one of them. For free. Now why would one of the world’s finest museums allow anyone to use its images? As reported in the NY Times, the museum’s director, Taco Dibbits, looks at it this way: “We’re a public institution, and so the art and objects we have are, in a way, everyone’s property.” Further, Mr. Dibbits feels it’s a resolution issue: “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.” High art indeed.

You can download one or all 125,000 files for yourself by visiting Rijksstudio. The website even offers tips on setting up a Rijksstudio web page, creating objects like posters, and sharing your creation on social media.

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