Open Content Program
The Birmingham Museum of art makes available digital images of works in the Museum’s collection believed to be in the public domain. Images are available free of charge for any use, commercial or non-commercial. Users do not need to contact the Museum for authorization to use these images. They are available through the Online Collection at artsbma.org/collection. See detailed instructions for specific work types below.
Identifying Open Content Images
The mission of the Birmingham Museum of Art is to spark the creativity, imagination, and liveliness of Birmingham by connecting all its citizens to the experience, meaning, and joy of art. The Museum understands that by sharing images of works online without restrictions, the BMA collection becomes more accessible to a larger audience.
For objects with images the rights status is displayed in the “credit line” section of the object information. The rights status or rights holder will be indicated. If the work is in the public domain and/or the image may be downloaded, the download icon will appear in the bottom right corner of the image area. To search the collection click here.
Works With Restrictions
For copyright-protected images that have been approved by copyright holders, a presentation-sized image is available, but can not be downloaded. A copyright statement clearly listing the name of the copyright holder is visible in the credit line area when the image is displayed. Thumbnail-sized images of copyrighted works are displayed under fair use.
When the owner of a work is impossible to determine or contact, the work is deemed an orphan work. The Museum will make thumbnails of orphan works available. If you are the representative or rights holder of an orphan work, please contact Rights and Reproductions.
Please use the following source credit when reproducing an Open Content image: Courtesy Birmingham Museum of Art, followed by the credit line provided in the object description.
Although there are no restrictions or conditions of the use of an Open Content image, the BMA would appreciate a gratis copy of any scholarly publication(s) in which the images are reproduced in order to maintain collection bibliography. Copies may be sent to the attention of:
Open Content Program
Digital Media Department
The Birmingham Museum of Art
2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd
Birmingham, AL 35203
- If an image is not available under Open Content it may be because the work is still under copyright, the work is not owned by the museum, or the work has not yet been photographed to BMA standards.
- Request Images: If an image of a work is not available online or is under copyright, you may submit a request through our online request form. You may also request files in additional sizes or formats. A fee will be charged for this service.
- Our determination of public domain is made in good faith.
- Electronic records are based on historical information and may not be the Museum’s complete or current knowledge about an object. Research is ongoing.
- The ‘On View’ status may be delayed on the website by 24 hours. Please check with our Rights and Registration Office to confirm that a work of art will be on view before traveling to the Museum.
- Titles Hercules Freeing Prometheus (Proper)
- Artist Nicolas Bertin, French, 1668 - 1736
- Medium oil on canvas
- Dimensions 23 5/8 × 19 7/16 in. (60 × 49,4 cm) frame: 32 × 27 1/2 × 3 1/8 in. (81.3 × 69.9 × 7.9 cm)
- Credit Line Museum purchase with funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. James A. Livingston, Jr.; Martee Woodward Webb; Mr. and Mrs. William M. Spencer III; Catherine Collins; and Mr. and Mrs. George G. Brownell, 1989.29
- Work Type painting
- Classification Paintings
- On View
- Inscription On verso, large in white paint: 8 [and] 19 On the top stretcher bar is a white label on which is printed: 106 / 3703
- Provenance Possibly Euzenberg collection [see note 1]. Possibly private collection, Cologne, Germany [see note 2]. Math. Lempertz’sche Kunstversteigerung: Alte Kunst Gemälde Skulpturen, November 19, 1987, lot 19; dealer Patrick Weiller, Paris [see note 3]; purchased by the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, 1989
1. Philippe Malgouyres, Peintures françaises du XVIIe siècle: La collection du musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen (Paris: Somogy, 2000), p. 16. Malgouyres writes, “Notre tableau était jusqu’à présent considéré comme l’esquisse du tableau du Louvre (cf. Lefrançois, 1981) mais un tableau identique au nôtre, signé Bertin, inédit à notre connaissance et d’une qualité bien supérieure, a de grandes chances d’être l’esquisse de Bertin; il se trouvait à Cologne en 1987, puis dans le commerce parisien en 1989 (il s’agit sûrement de celui de la collection Euzenberg, connu par une photographie de la documentation d’Hermann Voss, SED).” In an email dated November 12, 2019 to Virginia Badgett, Philippe explained that "SED" is Service de Documentation du département des peintures du Louvre. When Badgett contacted colleagues at SED to obtain scans of the Hermann Voss photographs, they could not be located. See object file.
2. According to information sheet provided by dealer Patrick Weiller, Paris, in 1989 at the time of purchase. See object file.
3. According to invoice from Patrick Weiller to the Birmingham Museum of Art, dated May 29, 1989. Weiller confirmed 1989.29 was purchased directly from this sale in an email to Virginia Badgett dated November 14, 2019.