Use Masterpieces, Not Boring Image Banks

When working on slide decks, newsletters and blogs, why not use artworks by great artists, instead of the ususal image bank pictures?

Untapped sources of artworks await for you marketers. You can find great photographs and illustration, to support your text in articles and presentations.

Here is the most obvious example –

Are you writing about coding? Cross-cultural training? Translation services?

Why not illustrate with the Rosetta Stone?

rosetta stone
Text in three writing systems; hieroglyphic, demotic, and Greek, on The Rosetta Stone, discovered in 1799 in Egypt. The British Museum


The Best Source For Public Domain Visual Art You Can Use: Open Culture

“1.8 Million Free Works of Art from World-Class Museums: A Meta List of Great Art Available Online” – visit Open Culture to see the list of Sources For Art Images from Museums & Libraries

New Free Art Every New Year

Mostly, copyright ends either 50 years after a creator’s death or 70. This means that artworks by artists who died in 1946 or 1966 are now entering the public domain.

January 1st is Public Domain Day: A day when more visual artists whose work enter the public domain (except in the United States). Below are some of the new additions to the visual mega source.

Writing about climate change?

use art not image banks
Alfred Stieglitz, Portrait of Georgia O’Keeffe © J. Paul Getty

Or about fashion accessories?

Alfred Stieglitz, Face and leg of Dorothy True © J. Paul Getty

About books and reading?

use art not image bank
Florence Fuller, Inseparables, 1900, oil on canvas (via Art Gallery of South Australia/Wikimedia)

Or about walls & wars?

use art not image banks
Horace Pippin, Soliders with Gas Masks in Trench, 1917–18, via Smithsonian Institution/Wikimedia


*Feature image head of page:  Jessie Tarbox Beals Photographs, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.

But Be Careful When You Use A Famous Painting For Your Product Branding


Oops! They really should have hired someone with an Art History degree. Organic gourmet sauce, classic packaging, beautiful womem painted beautifully on the label. What might possibly go wrong??

“Apparently, No One Noticed What This Woman Was Staring At When They Chose Her For Their Label” Story source

Nice Sauce? Scary Branding/Artwork
Nice Sauce? Scary Branding/Artwork
Judith Beheading Holofernes, a 1598 painting by Caravaggio
Judith Beheading Holofernes, a 1598 painting by Caravaggio

So take care and carry on researching your images for true and related meaning 🙂

Have something to say about this post? Questions? Corrections? I’m listening

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