The platforms below, curated from Open Culture, provides a wealth of free historical art works spanning different countries and eras. You can browse through the collections and see what you can get to use with your students in class.
Google’s popular Cultural Institute provides a variety of digital collections of art work from all around the world. You can browse through the collections, discover museums, and delve deep into historical works. Google Cultural Institute provides a ” visually rich and interactive online experience for telling cultural stories in new ways.” It contains exhibits from expert curators, artifacts, photographs, original manuscripts, videos and many more.
2- The Getty
“The Getty makes available, without charge, all available digital images to which the Getty holds the rights or that are in the public domain to be used for any purpose. No permission is required… The Getty adopted the Open Content Program because we recognized the need to share images of works of art for free and without restriction, so that all those who create or appreciate art—scholars, artists, art lovers, and entrepreneurs—will have greater access to high-quality digital images for their studies and projects…Currently, there are more than 99,000 images from the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Getty Research Institute available through the Open Content Program, including more than 72,000 from the Research Institute’s Foto Arte Minore archive, which features photographs of the art and architecture of Italy over 30 years by German photographer and scholar Max Hutzel (1913–1988). Other images include paintings, drawings, manuscripts, photographs, antiquities, sculpture, decorative arts, artists’ sketchbooks, watercolors, rare prints from the 16th through the 18th century, and 19th-century architectural drawings of cultural landmarks”
In 2013 British Library “released over a million images onto Flickr Commons for anyone to use, remix and repurpose. These images were taken from the pages of 17th, 18th and 19th century books digitised by Microsoft who then generously gifted the scanned images to us, allowing us to release them back into the Public Domain. The images themselves cover a startling mix of subjects: There are maps, geological diagrams, beautiful illustrations, comical satire, illuminated and decorative letters, colourful illustrations, landscapes, wall-paintings and so much more that even we are not aware of.”