The @maura_imagesandwords project on Instagram together with the book Your Renaissance, aim to raise awareness on the influence that images can have on our wellness or malaise.

While observing images of art, we can take a break, breathe a sense of harmony, dwell on shades and colors, observe and appreciate different shapes and sizes, notice details.

Keeping the dream

On the contrary, we are exposed daily to violent or disturbing images through newspapers, the news, the Internet or events we may witness on the street. In the long term, this exposure can create a sort of addiction and decrease our level of humanity and humanism. For example, many people can peacefully be having dinner while the news is showing terrible images.

Children and teenagers, through videos, video games and other events, are often spectators, aware or not of what they are witnessing, of violent scenes that can compromise their relational skills and healthy growth.

The @maura_imagesandwords project on Instagram wants to oppose “visual pollution” by spreading images of works of art available through the public domain, not to promote a sugarcoated reality (situations of suffering and discomfort must always be reported and if necessary shown) but to encourage “a visual ecology”.

The @maura_imagesandwords project on Instagram also wants to raise awareness on the fact that the images of many works of art, although available through the public domain, are not freely usable by the public. In order to circulate or publish copies of said images on the web, in books, or otherwise, most museums require users to go through a bureaucratic procedure, sometimes subject to approval, and the payment of a license.

Let’s allow art images in the public domain to be used and published by everyone, not only by those who have the time and means to go to museums, or those who can pay for the necessary licenses.

Let’s surround ourselves, as much as possible, with images of works of art.

The more we work towards the development of a global “visual ecology”, the less we will accept ugly and decayed suburbs, the eco-monsters of unscrupulous builders and politicians, and cities destroyed by wars. In other words, places lacking the serenity of a human atmosphere.

For these reasons, the @maura_imagesandwords project on Instagram:

  • promotes and uses images taken from the digital archives of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC because these institutions, in total contrast with many other famous museums, have courageously chosen to offer their digital image archives to the public for free, with no bureaucratic restrictions, to be used for personal, educational or business purposes. Without these museums’ intellectual honesty, their vision and the pure spirit of service concerning their mission to disseminate art, which all museums should employ, we could not use, and sometimes not even have access to these images.
  • Encourages the distribution and circulation of all images created by Maura and published on the @maura_imagesandwords profile on Instagram, making them available in the public domain and free from copyright. Author’s attribution for these images is not mandatory.

Let’s set public domain images free and pass them around, let’s get our nourishment from beauty and sensitivity and let’s open our vision and awareness.

Pictures by Maura @maura_imagesandwords project on Instagram

Art works in the public domain courtesy of:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art NY
The National Gallery of Art Washington DC

Sometimes the difference is a matter of millimetres