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Free Web Sources

Selected Internet sites for image research plus how-to-use information


This website specializes in contemporary artists. In addition to images which you can click to enlarge, you may find biographical information, as well as a timeline of each artist's exhibitions.

How to use:
The search function at the top right of the homepage is fine for most searches but for a more precise search click on Artists A-Z and type an artist's name in the "Find Artist" search box. Click Search. A drop- down menu will appear in the search box showing artists with similar names. Choose the appropriate name and click Go To. Use the "Advanced Search" option to search on title words, subject categories, style and movement categories, etc. You can also browse the alphabetical list of artists. Click on an artist's name and browse that artist's images.

The Artists

This is another website specializing in contemporary artists. Images are provided by linking to other websites such as that of the artist or of museums. Although the site provides some biographies and explanations of different art movements and styles, source references are scarce.

How to use:
Use the search box in the center-left sidebar under "search artist & art" and type in an artist's name or a category such as a movement or style. You can also browse using the links in the top-left sidebar. On the artist's page, explore the links to find images. The arrangement of links on each page varies quite a bit.

Art Resource

With over 450,000 fine art images licensed from hundreds of reputable sources, this could be the best free, one-stop source for a wide range of fine art reproductions on the Web. Most of the images are watermarked, but are of sufficient size for research.

How to use:
Enter search terms in the box top-left. As you enter letters, terms will appear in a drop-down menu. Click on the search term that matches. The results page will have several sorting and viewing options. The advanced search options include searching by artist, location, or keywords. Each field has a drop-down menu for browsing the lists. Clicking on an image opens a larger size and includes information about the image. Keywords hyperlink to other images.


This site provides links to image collections of trusted repositories. The focus is painting and sculpture, but other media are also included. Only the most basic biographical information is provided. Information on subjects in art is sparse and the sources are usually not cited, but providing such information is not the point of this site.

How to use:
Search by artist's name, the title of an artwork, or a museum name by clicking in the search box, typing search terms, and then clicking the button to the right. Browsing options for this site far outnumber its searching options.

Once you've landed on an artist or subject page, you'll be provided with categorized links to reputable websites. For artists with extensive links, tabs are constructed for readability. Artist pages also have a one-click option for searching Flickr, Google Images, and Bing. There is even an option for limiting those searches to images that are available for re-use.