CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Nice Paintings – the National Inventory of Continental European Paintings

‘NICE Paintings’ contains detailed records of nearly 8,000 pre-1900 Continental European oil paintings from 200 public collections across the United Kingdom. Over 2,500 are illustrated with digital colour images, and more images are being added regularly. This pioneering database is the first phase of a project to bring together in one searchable catalogue all 22,000 old master paintings in UK museums. The project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Getty Foundation and the Kress Foundation.


‘NICE Paintings’ was produced by the National Inventory Research Project (NIRP), based at the University of Glasgow. NIRP is a partnership between the University of Glasgow and Birkbeck University of London. It is managed by a steering committee of curators from national and regional collections across the UK, chaired by Dr Susan Foister, Director of Collections at the National Gallery, London. The project is continuing to add digital images to the database, contributed by museums and the Public Catalogue Foundation, and is working to complete the project by adding to the database records on the 15,000 old master paintings in national university and other major regional museums not included in this initial research phase of the project.