The Your Paintings website is a joint initiative between the BBC, the Public Catalogue Foundation (a not-for-profit organisation) and over 3,000 participating collections from across the United Kingdom.
Your Paintings is the result of the PCF’s ten-year project to digitize the UK’s entire national collection of oil paintings. 80% of these paintings are typically in store whilst the vast majority had not been photographed before this project. These artworks are now free to view and on the BBC’s website.
A few years ago the BBC made a three minute film about the project that you might enjoy watching. This is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KpyPzMW4_I
This is the only website anywhere in the world illustrating a nation’s entire painting collection. There are over 210,000 oil paintings in the UK’s national collection. These publicly owned oil paintings are held in institutions ranging from museums large and small to universities, town halls, hospitals and even fire stations. In total there are works by 36,000 artists on the site ranging from the world famous to the completely obscure. Your Paintings provides a major source of organized material for research into art history, British and international history, genealogy and topography.