“Your Paintings is a website which aims to show the entire UK national collection of oil paintings, the stories behind the paintings, and where to see them for real. It is made up of paintings from thousands of museums and other public institutions around the country.”
It is a joint initiative between the BBC, the Public Catalogue Foundation (a registered charity) and participating collections and museums from across the UK.
Consisting over 210,00 paintings by more than 37,000 artists from the last 700 years, it is made up from largely British painters but also includes works from ‘little known’ foreign artists such as Monet and Van Gogh.
The collection is made up of Oil paintings, Tempera and acrylic because this was a more practical size to digitise in it’s entirety, unlike the combined millions of water-colour and drawings.
At any one time 80% of the paintings collated are either in storage or being restored, so even if you managed to visit every Gallery in the UK, you would still miss out on some of these.
The site gives us the ability to create our own custom Your Paintings collection. Once signed in with our BBC id, we can select and comment on paintings to create our own collection, which we can share with friends through social media.
The site is also asking for help….
“If you know anything about a painting that has no, or limited, information then please click on the ‘Art Detective’ link in the right hand panel on the page for that painting. Your feedback will be passed to the institution that owns the painting and investigated, until hopefully it ends up back on the site as new information. Please be aware that given limited staff resources in many of the collections, only those suggestions that are adopted may receive a response.”
Enjoy the art, it is ‘ours’ anyway :)