About Public Domain

Here you can find information on how you can use images of Public Domain artworks in the SMK collection.

Statens Museum for Kunst is Denmark’s National Gallery and main museum of art.  The collections span 700 years of art history, presenting works from Denmark, Europe, and the rest of the world. A large share of these collections are in the public domain. They are part of our shared cultural heritage and have been around for so long that they are completely free of any copyright restrictions. This means that you have the right to:


  • Share the images – i.e. to copy, distribute, and transmit them.
  • Remix the images – i.e. modify and reuse them in new contexts.
  • Use the images in any context – e.g. teaching, research, lectures, publications, film productions, etc. This includes commercial purposes.

Read the official definition of Public Domain from Creative Commons

You are free to download and use all SMK images that are in the public domain. As yet, you can download 160 selected highlights from the collection as high-resolution images. We are working to make all of the SMK’s digitised works in the public domain available as high-resolution downloads.

Proper conduct when using public domain images
We ask you to please respect the original works when you use pictures of them in new contexts. In order to allow others to see where the original works can be found, and where they can download the images themselves, we ask you to please include a reference to the SMK.

We recommend that you state the source of the image as follows:
Artist, title of the work, date (year), Statens Museum for Kunst, www.smk.dk
If you create derivative works based on works at the SMK, we ask you to clearly state that the new work is yours.

More about how to use Public Domain images in a respectful manner

We should like to thank you in advance for using the images courteously – and hope that you will enjoy putting our shared cultural heritage to good use!

What might I use Public Domain images for?
Images in the public domain are like tools in a toolbox – you can use them for all manner of purposes. Just let your imagination run wild.


  • Schoolchildren and teachers might want to use the images for presentations, for inter-disciplinary and interactive learning, and as source materials for collages, animations, cartoons, etc.
  • Students and scholars can use the images to zoom in on and example specific details, create their own image banks for study purposes, and use them as illustrations in printed and online publications.
  • If you are interested in the aesthetic and creative opportunities offered by the images you can use them to e.g. personalize your laptop; play around with them in image processing software; remix them; use them for collages, animations, and videos; print them onto t-shirts, posters; share them on social media, and much more.


Read about how to reuse in copyright texts and images that you find on our website.

You can also read about how to use images that are protected by copyright.

Free download of artworks

Download artworks

Browse the 160 artworks available for download as high-resolution images.

Explore the Google Art Project – and a range of works at the SMK.

Proper conduct

Read about how to use Public Domain images in a respectful manner


Google Art Project

Explore the Google Art Project – and a range of works at the SMK.

SMK Logo