Reproducing art

I’d like to include some of Goya’s Black Paintings and other assorted work by him in some album art, but I have no idea if I need permission to do this or where on Earth Prime I can get this permission. I’m (obviously) kind of hoping that great art becomes public domain, but am (obviously) ignorant in that department.

Can anyone help?

Bonus Question: Anybody have a good place to get some high quality (resolution-wise) art online?

I don’t know about Goya, but Grant Wood was constantly suing people over even gag posters themed like his “American Gothic”, the one with the hayseed “farmer with wife” (it’s actually a portrait of him and his sister) with him in overalls and holding a pitchfork.

I doubt that he won many cases, but he always made a legal stink.

Let’s see… The old-fashioned method would be to go through the gallery that currently owns the paintings. They usually would have slides or transparencies available to work from, at a cost of course. Since I believe the Black Paintings are at the Prado in Spain, this might not be the way to go if your Spanish is rusty. But here’s an example of the process at the Met in NYC:

Now in this modern world, the preferred way would be to go through an image licensing company like Corbis or EyeWire. You have to determine which of the companies have the particular painting you want. (For instance, Corbis does have Saturn by Goya: ) You would then buy a professional license, and would have permission to use the image commercially (within limits I presume). (Note that the page I linked to is for personal use licensing ONLY, not professional use, which you would get to via, except that’s down right now.) I don’t imagine this would be real cheap either.

Or you could just rip it off and hope they don’t catch you. I suppose it depends on how much exposure you expect this album to get.

Whoops, my bad. Since Goya died in 1828, and that’s more than 70 years ago, the paintings themselves probably are in the public domain. It’s the photos of the paintings that require all that effort and payment that I described before. See: Royalty Free Stock Photos, Illustrations, Vector Art, and Video Clips - Getty Images

So all you have to do is find someone who personally took a photo of the painting you want to use and who will let you use it for free. :slight_smile: The difficult in doing this is why services like Corbis exist in the first place.

Thanks for the quick responses, now I can finally start getting things together!

I found it profoundly disturbing that Corbis will let you send any picture as an e-card (for free!). Hope my girlfriend enjoys You Who Cannot

Source please? I attended the same art school as Grant Wood, I even used to paint in his old studio, our school has a massive collection of tens of thousands of images derived from “American Gothic” and I’ve studied Wood’s life and works fairly closely. But I’ve never heard any story of his suing anyone.

Anyway, to get back to the OP, even if an artwork is in the public domain, you still may not be able to get permission to reproduce the image without paying royalties. It is an old scam in the museum business to control access to photography of works in their collection. So, while Goya’s painting may be more than 70 years old and out of copyright, the PHOTOGRAPH of that painting was taken just a few years ago by the museum, and they control the copyright of the PHOTO. And that’s the only photo available, if the museum has any say in the matter.