Wikipaintings is online encyclopedia of paintings, focusing on classical and contemporary art.  This nonprofit visual repository features work by hundreds of artists and is a great tool for those looking for an easy way to search and browse thousands of art images.

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Each entry contains information about the artwork, though some are more thorough than others. The entries also contain links and tags that guide users to similar paintings and styles.  Images are searchable by multiple facets:

  • artist
  • artwork
  • art movement
  • technique
  • genre
  • nationality
  • school or group
  • style

The purpose of the site is not to provide high quality images for download — in fact, because some of the images are not out of copyright, high resolution images are often not available.

Rather, Wikipaintings is more of a place to find inspritaiton from and infomration about your favorite painters and paintings.  The About page for Wikipaintings states, “We hope to make classical art a little more accessible and comprehensible, and also want to provide a new form of interaction between contemporary artists and their audience.”

The “wiki” aspect of the website is still under construction, so as of yet users cannot add their own edits to the site. However, after this function becomes available, Wikipaintings has the potential to become an even more comprehensive collection of art and information, created through collaboration from users.

Have you used Wikipaintings in your work?  How has it been helpful?  How might you see incorporating this site into library services for artists?   Let us know in the comments!

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