The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is home to over a million art objects. Their website features high resolution images of many of the artworks from the collection. But unlike most institutions they do not charge for this access, and they even promote public use of these images toward design or commercial applications. A major art institution that encourages artistic engagement with its collection outside of its own walls is truly groundbreaking.
The museum has an interesting collection of Japanese art, which includes sculpture, kimonos, and prints. There are numerous prints of Japanese erotica (Shunga), which are shockingly vivid. They also have a print of Under the Wave off Kanagawa, which is the most recognizable Japanese artwork in the world, and it is free to download. If Uniqlo can stamp it on a t-shirt so can you!
While browsing through the vast collection we came across a number of images of Europeans (and their non-European servants) in 18th-19th century Japan as depicted by Japanese artists. We think it’s not only fascinating to see Europeans depicted in a completely different manner than European art of the time, but it’s also interesting to witness a glimpse into a world of wooden ships, top hats and international trade.
Today we want to share a book featuring beautiful snake imagery. North American herpetology, or, A description of the reptiles inhabiting the United States (1836-1840) by John Edwards Holbrook (1796-1871)…