Devoting a few hours of the day to visit an art museum is a privilege not everyone has the time to enjoy, but with the increasing digitization of virtually everything that exists in the world, it’s getting easier for even the busiest (and broke) art aficionados to appreciate masterpieces of famous artists any time they want.

Now, courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, there are over 440,000 more digitized artworks of past centuries on the public domain for the world to delight in. Thousands of works by historical Japanese artists are also part of this free collection, making it possible for anyone with an interest in traditional Japanese paintings and artifacts to become a curator for their own vast art museum on any digital device.

Available for download in HD are stunning paintings by famous artists like Katsushika Hokusai, Sharaku, and Utagawa Kuniyoshi. The high-quality images allow the audience to scrutinize every detail of the works, from the texture of the canvas to the brushstrokes of the paintings. Besides visual art, the collection also contains images of historical artifacts such as kimono, armor, and arms that have been preserved over the ages.

As if the sheer number of images provided weren’t generous enough, many of the images are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, which means that they can be modified, copied, and distributed freely for both personal and commercial use. Any restrictions of usage is specified under each individual image.

Free access to download historical Japanese artworks by world-renowned artists has also been previously granted by iBooks and institutions like the National Institute of Japanese Literature and The New York Public Library. Though it would easily take weeks to look through these vast collections, it’s a special feeling to know that so many historical masterpieces are available right at our fingertips.

See the entire collection here, and the collection of Japanese artworks and artifacts here.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.