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How about teleporting into a painting for your next Zoom meeting?

20201105 Video conference stock
French National Library, the BnF, is allowing home office workers to brighten their video conferences with artistic desktop wallpapers. Image: IStock/Anchiy via AFP Relaxnews.

As more and more countries are re-implementing lockdown measures, Zoom video conferences are once again becoming the norm — that is if they were not already. Some home office workers, however, are not keen on showing their interior to their colleagues. That is where France’s national library, the Bibliotheque national de France or the BnF, comes in, offering artistic desktop wallpapers to liven up your Zoom or Skype meetings.

What kind of background would you choose? A black and white photo showing Claude Monet in his studio or a sketch of an opera set by painter Pierre-Luc-Charles Cicéri? You may also want your colleagues to be treated to a view of a Jean-Baptiste Debret illustration rather than the clothes piling up in your messy bedroom.

Whatever your choice may be, the digital library of BnF is packed with iconographic documents that could give an artistic flair to your work or family digital gatherings. From press photographs, to etchings, advertising posters, wallpapers and medieval manuscripts, the choices are vast.

To change your Google Meet, Skype or Zoom background, you just need to save the select BnF desktop wallpapers to your computer and access them easily from your various tools.

The Los Angeles Getty Center gave Zoom users access to its collections last April. Over 100,000 free images are still offered by the institution to download directly from its website, from paintings by Vincent van Gogh to works by Camille Pissarro, Jan van Huysum and Marco Ricci.

While all the BnF sites had to close because of lockdown measures that took effect last Oct. 30, the French institution offers virtual presentations for art lovers stuck at home.

Podcasts, applications and other resources are also featured on the Gallica website, BnF’s digital library as well as on Retronews, the institution’s press website. CC

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