Searching for repo of painting in the Louvre.

I’ve googled for a couple of hours trying to find a reproduction of a painting that I saw in the Louvre by Strozzi called “The Madonna of Justice”. A poster would do, but an actual repro painting would be cool. Can’t believe this isn’t available somewhere because it was quite impressive in person and lesser paintings in the Louvre are readily available.

See at:

I find it strange that I can’t seem to track this down very easily, many of the artwork sites require an account or institutional affiliation and that doesn’t help.

Also, why don’t my hyperlinks work anymore? Since I went to Mozilla I can’t create them correctly.

Thanks in advance.

I searched and I can’t find it in any of my public or for-pay sites. Since it’s out of copyright if you could find a large scan or photo of it you could print it as a poster yourself*, but sadly I can’t even find it in any of my hardcopy books (including mine I picked up at the Louvre itself when I was last there) to scan for you.

  • [sub]Yes, that is legal in the US, no matter what scare words the websites put on them. See BRIDGEMAN ART LIBRARY, LTD. v. COREL CORP., 36F. Supp. 2d 191 (S.D.N.Y., 1999).[/sub]

Try “Madonna and Child of Justice”


FYI, that link is in the OP, just mangled by Google.

Yes, that is the same link and the one that requires that you belong to some type of institution before they will even quote you a price. Strange, I considered giving them the address of the closed down pysch ward near me just to see if they even paid attention but decided to try here first.:smiley:

I do have a copy of the painting in the book I bought at the Louvre (“1001 Paintings of the Louvre”) and may attempt to try scanning it, but it’s smallish and somewhat darkish as well. I did take pictures of the actual painting (which amazed me that they allow you do!) but was hoping for something better than my point and shot was able to achieve.

In any case, thanks for checking into this for me. Now I have an excuse to go back to Paris with a better camera.:cool:

Just one tiny bump. I’m still not having any luck.

I found one very high-res scan at a Brigham Young University site. When I tried to get it it said it was “restricted” from download due to copyright reasons, and was “Copyright 2007”. Because I really like needling people over this subject, I sent them an e-mail asking the basis for their copyright claim, and referring to the appropriate laws and court decisions showing that a scan or other copy of a 2-dimensional public domain artwork is still in the public domain, but no answer yet.

When I do things like this typically I get back oppositional-defiant denials not based in fact, vague legal threats, or no answer at all - the total of which over the years have bred a hatred of mine towards art museum administrators.

Yeah, I saw the BYU offering as well and my first thought was “Those crazy Mormons!”.:stuck_out_tongue:

Another thought I had was that if anybody has been or is going to Louvre anytime soon with a DSLR (on a tripod as long as I begging) would be to ask them for a shot. It’s a really nice painting to look at in person (as far as Madonna’s go that is) and would be worth the time. Just go past the room with the Mona Lisa (waste of time given the distance they make you stand off IMO) and it’s on the outer wall to your left as you enter the room.

Thanks for your diligence Una Person!:slight_smile:

IANAL but I think the basis of the copyright claims is that the reproductions/negatives of the object are copyrighted-- this is one way the museums make money, by restricting and controlling reproduction of the reproductions. The object itself is not under copyright, and if you stuck the panel on a scanner and made your own or snuck in a camerathat would be splendid, but reproductions of it are controlled. They will not let you into the Louvre with a tripod for the same reason-- they’d rather that publishers had to shell out cash for repros made from their negatives. BYU had to shell out some money to Saskia or some other company for the slide in the first place; most schools actually restrict access to images like that to students. Una, if you can send your argument to about 100 art history journals and get them and the museums to agree I’d be very thankful, as it would save me a lot of money over time.

I checked some other forums and cameras with monopods are allowed, just not tripods because they take up too much room. So if any dopers are out there in
Paris and want to be my hero please consider getting me a shot.:slight_smile:

I’m now off to surf some vacation photo shoot sites just in case. Any suggestions on where to surf? Or does anyone know if the Louvre sells digetal copies themselves?

Si Amigo-- send me a private message with some e-mail contact info (your PM seems to be turned off).

Nevermind, Si-- now I’m seeing your contact info. Cheers.


As Una suggested, a slavish reproduction of a two-dimensional public domain artwork does not benefit from copyright protection. The most often cited case is Bridgeman v. Corel.

Right, but controlling reproductions is not the same as having copyright over an item. And, as Una probably pointed out to the folks at BYU, not only do they not have copyright over that image, but fraudulently asserting copyright over such an image is, in itself, a violation of Title 17.

No, they are not copyrighted. Please read up on the case I put in my first post in this thread. Also search in the case name and you will find numerous threads on the SDMB where it is hashed out.

Read this - it will explain a lot:

A slavish 2-D copy of a 2-D work which is in the public domain is also in the public domain. No matter how much anyone wants it to be, it simply is not true in the United States. Effort is not copyrightable, creative content is. Put most simply: if you make a true copy of a 2-D work…what creativity is added? Photographers argue that there is “creativity” in adjusting camera and lighting settings - but the courts have not agreed with them on that point.

Think about this scenario, which I posted earlier:

First, the Louvre is in France, where this point is moot since their copyright laws are different. Second, even in the US any private property owner can prohibit cameras within their buildings - copyright does not even enter into the equation. A museum is within its rights to keep you from taking photos - but they cannot control what you do with that photo of a public domain work once you take the photo.

I don’t need to. BRIDGEMAN ART LIBRARY, LTD. v. COREL CORP., 36F. Supp. 2d 191 (S.D.N.Y., 1999) has never been overturned and no higher Court or Court at the same level has issued a ruling in opposition to it. Further, I’ll add that unless they are idiots art history people, museum curators, and others in the field all know about the embarrassing Bridgeman decision - they just pretend like they don’t know about it. It was one of the most important court cases impacting art galleries and museums in the last 50 years. In fact, before it went to trial several art galleries pleaded with Bridgeman not to pursue the case, because they did not want a decision on it. They knew how it was likely to go, and they would much rather have been able to threaten people without case law going against them.

Further still, AFAIK no case has ever been decided since 1999 which goes contrary to the findings in Bridgeman. The libraries and museums know this too, and when they say “all scans copyright us”, they are, in many cases, lying.

I didn’t do this last part, because they can always claim ignorance and I felt like I didn’t want to antagonize them that much. I know, hard to believe… :wink:

Just popped in to say I adore your bad ass self, Una.

Eh, it doesn’t take much bad-assedness to send a form letter asking someone for their legal basis to make a claim. Especially when 75% of the time they ignore me…but thanks, Deb.

I want to amend what I said earlier about art history people being idiots if they were unaware of the Bridgeman decision. Some folks really never think much or have opportunity to think much about the legalities involved, and that doesn’t make them idiots. Shoot, the only reason I ever had to learn any of this stuff was due to a frivolous legal threat made against me. :rolleyes:

Well. . . yeah. And that’s why they want control over the reproduction of the thing. Which was my point. But I don’t understand reproduction rights, I guess, versus copyright.

Aw. Sadly that’s APPARENTLY not true, as most art historians aren’t trained legal scholars, but just sit around writing about pictures and trying to keep 19-year-olds awake in 8 AM classes in darkened rooms.

I don’t know shit from copyright versus not-copyright but effectively trouble, whatever it is. All I know is that, on the ground, negotiating rights to publish reproductions is tricky. And I do know that I don’t understand exactly how it all works-- I am the first to admit that. So, say a journal agrees to print an article I’ve written. I want it to print with an illustration: a reproduction of a 16th century woodcut held by a museum, in, say, Sweden. In order for the journal to use the reproduction I have to pay a pile of fees to the museum for permissions, dependent on circulation, size, etc. What’s the legal basis for this? It’s not copyright. . . what exactly is the problem I’m losing 250 euros over? Is this simply the journal being polite and agreeing to enforce museums’ demands, but there isn’t actually any sort of legal backbone to the situation?

ETA-- on preview. … yeah, you’re exactly right, in that most art historians just want to be able to deal with the cultural patrimony and do nerdy scholarship in peace without the legal and financial stuff. I SURE know that my 250 euros are not going in some dead 16th-c woodcarver’s pocket.

In the case of copies of 2-D public domain works in the US, there is no difference.

That’s a very good question - you might ask why you are paying for it when you don’t have to. The only answer I can think of is convenience - you don’t have to scour the net slogging through 26 different scans of the same work, each with different scan settings and color variations. Almost no scans are done with a color strip alongside them, many are not done in high enough resolution, and in some cases may be tilted, warped, or even JPG-artifacted. I would argue that you are at a minimum getting a value from a convenience standpoint.

Edited to add: and that keys into the politeness thing. If your journal is happy with getting the images ready-to-print and in the quality they need, they may just think it’s easier to pay than to not pay, rather than piss the guys in Sweden off. There are an enormous number of public domain works out there which have not been scanned in what could be called archival or academic quality, after all…

But from a legal one? Read the Wiki link I posted. Better yet, find any case at all where someone was successfully sued post-Bridgeman for using a copy of a 2-dimensional public domain artwork in the US. You won’t find any. Best still, copy the court case citation (the long form) from this thread and send it to your lawyer, and ask her or him why this does not apply in your case. If they say that you must submit payment for slavish copies of a 2-D public domain artwork, ask them to provide case law citations to back it up. You’re paying them after all…make them do the legwork.

And finally, it is very possible that you are paying for something you don’t need to pay for. Unfortunately ,it’s not the responsibility of the museum in Sweden to tell you that. The art directors of my own company newsletter paid hundreds of $$$ for “reproduction rights” for some old public domain images that actually were works for hire for the US government, and owned by the Library of Congress. Think about it - these people went to the LoC website, downloaded the giant 100MB TIF files from there (same as you and I can do), and re-sold them to my company, claiming “reproduction rights” on them! The files were exactly the same - and we paid for them! If that’s not criminal, I don’t know what is. And yet…I’ll wager that same scenario is played out repeated times daily.

And there’s another good question to ask - ask them to produce the copyright assignation to them and the chain of provenance. After all, if what they’re doing is above board, they should have no problem doing so. Then don’t hold your breath, because IME, 99% of the time they will ignore you and refuse to do so - because they can’t produce it. Of course, if you’re dealing with people in another country, that country’s laws may very well say that they DO have copyright in that country just by nature of having ownership. It’s a shame for them that they can’t really control what you do with it in the US.

capybara, one more thing came to me - using your example of a Swedish woodcut, if your journal is published in Sweden too, or sold in Sweden, or even the EU, that might involve some hideous legalities that would drive why your journal would pay for the works.