- 1949 - 1979 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
The idea of the UNESCO project was to give the vast majority of people who never or only occasionally have the chance to see the originals of great paintings access to them by substituting these art works with high-quality colour reproductions.
With the aim of making the best colour reproductions more easily available to teachers, students and the general art-interested public, UNESCO, over a period of 30 years, produced catalogues listing by the end more than 15,000 paintings of which high-quality reproductions exist and could be obtained. The volumes were intended not only to bring art into homes and schools but also to encourage the increased production of colour prints and the improvement of reproduction standards and methods.
At UNESCO Headquarters complete sets of the prints were kept so that visitors would have been able to see the reproductions themselves.
The main criteria by which the prints have been chosen were the fidelity of the reproduction, the significance of the artist, and the importance of the original painting. The selection had been done by two committees of experts set up in agreement with the International Council of Museums that decided which reproductions should be included in UNESCO’s catalogue and collection.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Conditions governing reproduction
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
AG 13/1: Catalogue of reproductions of paintings prior to 1860, 10th ed. Paris, 1978 (CUA/18/21)
AG 13/2: Catalogue of reproductions of paintings 1860-1979, 11th ed. Paris 1981 (CUA/18/22)
AG 13/3: Card index of pictures included in the catalogues
There are several catalogues published earlier than these two, but all reproductions listed in those are also included in the later versions.
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
All catalogues of reproductions are also available via the UNESCO Archives.