Judith H. Dobrzynski
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture

Judith H. Dobrzynski's Real Clear Arts

Along Comes Wikipaintings: A New Image Bank

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Given the news — and excitement — about the expansion of the Google Art Project this week, I thought I’d mention another, related venture. It’s different but shares some of the same goals. It’s Wikipaintings.

It’s a non-profit, like Wikipedia, and it’s trying to become the “most complete and well-structured online repository of fine art. 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. In the future we plan to cover the entire history of art — from cave artworks to the new talents of today.”

The people behind Wikipaintings don’t identify themselves, but I think the project is based — or was started — in Russia, based on the most-viewed artists and the selections. Then again, that changes — when I looked just now, there didn’t seem to be a Russian bias. Whoever the founders are, they created a Facebook page on April 8, 2011, so I’d guess it started about that time. Here’s what they say in “About.”

I’ve explored a little — searching artists by name, movement, century, etc. Visitors can also search by art work — style, genre, technique, etc. But I haven’t spend enough time to know how useful Wikipaintings will be or how it stacks up against all the other art image banks. 

So I will refer you to someone who has: Wikipaintings was briefly reviewed, favorably, by a blog on The Teaching Palette last November, by one Theresa McGee, who compared it to the Google Art Project:

I still love Google Art Project for the amazing depth and detail, but Wikipaintings is much better for understanding and visualizing the growth of an artist through his or her lifetime.  I look forward to seeing how Wikipaintings grows once it is open to contributors; maybe it will even expand beyond 2-D work into sculpture and installation art.

And it’s still in beta.

Photo Credit: Magritte’s Listening Room, drawn from the Wikipaintings site

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  1. I’m wondering if you found Australian rock paintings on the wiki site — I couldn’t find any.

  2. by realcleararts

    I didn’t look. Maybe send them a message requesting rock paintings? Or figure out if you can upload them yourself.

  3. It is really a undernourished site. It is nearly void in the Chinese paintings/artist, couldn’t name the proper but the ordinary like Li in UK. It couldn’t distinguish the classic from the modern either. In the european side, also it is rather bias, e.g.. it only mentioned Hans Hartung but not his wife Bergman. A site remained to be much to be desirabled. I would just google, for all I need.

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