Reading books has proved to serve as a powerful exercise for the brain that enhances learning capacity and imagination while also improving memory. And from now on, reading amazing works of art has become probably easier than ever.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, one of the most famous museums in the world, has a catalog called MetPublications that contains more than 1,500 works, including books, online publications, newsletters and magazines of the past five decades available for download. And for free!
But the good news is that from time to time, this collection gets updated and right now, 422 books and art catalogs in English are available for free download. Books about Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Claude Monet, Rosa Bonheur, Georgia O’Keeffe, John Singer Sargent and Utagawa Hiroshige can be downloaded in PDF format or read online.
The museum also has more than 400 000 images of works of art in their collections available for download free of charge. Between sculptures and antique pieces are paintings by artists such as Botticelli, Henri Matisse, Fernand Léger and Vincent van Gogh.
One of the featured books is a book “Anatomical Drawings” about Leonardo da Vinci. The book is from year 1983, put together by Kenneth D. Keele and Jane Roberts, experts on this Italian artist. It also features handmade designs by Da Vinci that were part of his work.
Another book is “The Age of Caravaggio” that combines the history of the Italian painter and criticism through four centuries of art, with reproductions of his great works and examples of their influence in the late sixteenth century.