The starting point for most image searches is Google Images. However, finding high-quality images can be difficult and there are different approaches you can take.


If you are looking for a specific artwork, find out who owns the artwork in question (Wikipedia can be very helpful here, however, do not rely on the image you find there).

If the artwork is owned by a gallery or museum, go to their website and search for the artwork there - this is where you will find the most accurate image of the artwork.

If you are uncertain what you are looking for, you can use keyword searches on Google Images to locate an artwork, then look for the owner. Alternatively, you can browse one of the image collections below (all of which have high-quality images).


If you are looking for work by a specific artist, you can check if there is a museum or gallery devoted to that artist's work or browse the collections of the major galleries/museums (see page on Galleries). If you are searching for a contemporary artist, locate their website or find out which gallery represents them and go to that gallery's website for high-quality images.

Image collections

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Google Art Project: collaboration between Google and over 400 galleries and museums worldwide, including 10 Australian galleries and museums. Can be browsed by collections, artists or rtworks and users can create their own lists
VADS (Visual Arts Data Service): portfolio of visual art collections comprising over 100,000 images that are freely available and copyright cleared for use in learning, teaching and research
Providing digital images and resources for Art Education
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The Web Gallery of Art is a virtual museum and searchable database of Western (European) fine arts of the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, and Impressionism periods (1000-1900), currently containing over 35,00 reproductions. Artist biographies, commentaries, guided tours, period music, catalogue, free postcard and mobile services are provided.
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Oxford Art Online has over 7,000 images - please contact the School's Librarian for the login details
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COLLAGE on the Web so far provides access to over 130,000 works at London Metropolitan Archives and Guildhall Art Gallery.
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An alternative to Google Art Project with a more contemporary art focus.
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OCLC's Catalog of Art Museum Images Online — is a growing online collection documenting works of art from around the world, representing the collections of prominent museums. CAMIO highlights the creative output of cultures around the world, from prehistoric to contemporary times, and covering the complete range of expressive forms.
Artists' books from the Smithsonian's collections
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The Getty Open Content Program makes available for free all of its digital images.