By Richard Fleming

09 Apr 2020 - 15:00

free galeries - art you can visit from home

Lots of the most impressive galleries and art collections from around the world have free online access to their works and exhibitions. If you are getting gallery or museum withdrawal symptoms  or if you simply have an hour or two to kill at home, check out some of our suggestions. If you fancy some human company, you can even invite a friend, call them by videoconference and explore these galleries together.

1. Art UK

In the UK, Art UK defines itself as the “online home” for all UK art collections and advocates for democratization. Art UK offers more than 250,000 digitized and searchable works for all tastes. A great starting point for the UK art scene ...

2. National Gallery and other British collections

If you prefer to replicate the experience of visiting an art gallery or museum, spend an afternoon or two at the National Gallery, with more than 2000 paintings from the 13th to the 20th centuries available, as well as a 360º virtual journey, in partnership with Google Arts and Culture, where you can “walk” around the building as if you were there in person.

Among the other digitized British collections, we also love the Tate, which brings together a vast collection of contemporary and historical art, and the National Portrait Gallery, which holds the largest collection of portraits in the world, and which also offers various courses and learning experiences .

3. British Council Gallery

The British Council also makes many of the works in its collection available in digital format. You can explore its collection of over 8500 works

4. "Google Arts and Culture"

A source of excellence for discovering art and culture from around the world, and a good starting point for exploring the online universe of arts is Google Arts and Culture, which is available for free in your browser or in the application (Play Store or App Store).

Among the vast array of content from around the world, Portugal is very well represented, with 38 Portuguese galleries and museums, which make their collections totally or partially available. We highlight the 360º visit of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, the collection and 360º visits of the National Museum of Ancient Art, and the collections of modern and naturalist art of the Soares dos Reis Museum.

From the other world galleries and museums represented on Google Arts and Culture, we highlight the huge and rich collection of the RijksMuseum, as well as, for lovers of contemporary art, the Guggenheim Bilbao, the New York MoMA and the National Museum of Modern Art in South Korea

Among other features of Google Arts and Culture, we highlight the Art Camera function, which allows us to explore in the foreground all the details of various masterpieces, with explanations and interpretations by curators and art historians, as well as the game Guess the Artist from the Artwork, which tests your knowledge of the great painters. The Instagram generation will love Art Selfie (only available in the mobile application), where they can take a selfie and find their look-alike in a universe of millions of figures portrayed in the digitalized works.

Thinking about decorating a room or space in your home? Do you want tips on colors to apply and serigraphs to buy to match? The Art Palette section allows you to search for works by color palette and find the right works for you. Google Arts and Culture also allows you to search by time period or by artist.

5. Smartify 

Have you already heard about Smartify? It's a mobile application that allows you to identify any work of art. You just have to take your phone, point the camera at the piece of art and you will receive all the information you need about it. It stores information on about 2 million works of art in more than 120 locations.

During the lockdown, Smartify has made all audio tours of all its partner museums free until the end of the year.. Take advantage of these free tours to delve into that artist or work of art you've always wanted to know more about.

More Arts and culture: