I'm looking for an API that would allow me to get a lot of painting on the public domain. For example, Google's art project contains a lot of what I am looking for, but you can't easily download paintings (I will need something like 1000 of them).

tl;dr : Is there a way to run get-paintings --painter "Claude Monet" and get an archive?

  • What do you need for each painting? Only metadata, or also an image of the painting itself?
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 6:18

4 Answers 4


Check out the Walters Art Museum Collections API:


Might give you access to what you are looking for...


The Art section of Datahub.io has several good candidates -

For example, the Wikimedia Paintings page. It's not an API, but you can download all image files from this page by a command like this:

wget -r -P /save/location -A jpeg,jpg,bmp,gif,png http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Paintings

(at the moment, this command doesn't work for me, but it should be possible - details)

Another option might be the Victoria and Albert Museum API - http://www.vam.ac.uk/api/

Also consider Freebase (which is being transferred to Wikidata). An example of Monet's paintings is


And the same query can be made via the API.

  • how-to.wikia.com/wiki/… This helped my a bit, the command you supplied seems not to work (i only get the robots.txt file)
    – Rogue
    Commented Jan 2, 2015 at 13:57
  • The asker wants public domain. Most files on Commons are not.
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 6:18

have you tried Tate's collection? It has quite straightforward JSON (each artist has its own JSON file) and CSV formats and no OAuth key needed I think: https://github.com/tategallery/collection

or try Rijksmuseum: http://rijksmuseum.github.io/


flickr public domain search for cc images of Paintings....you'll probably want to fine tune the search terms, because these results aren't all paintings, but this is what flickr commons have yet to fail me:

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.