Getty is releasing millions of images for free use from Getty Images.  Oh, and videos too. It’s an amazing release of some of the best content in the world.

The catch? You have to embed the images in a particular format and size.

Embedded Viewer
Where enabled, you may embed Getty Images Content on a website, blog or social media platform using the embedded viewer (the “Embedded Viewer”). Not all Getty Images Content will be available for embedded use, and availability may change without notice. Getty Images reserves the right in its sole discretion to remove Getty Images Content from the Embedded Viewer. Upon request, you agree to take prompt action to stop using the Embedded Viewer and/or Getty Images Content. You may only use embedded Getty Images Content for editorial purposes (meaning relating to events that are newsworthy or of public interest). Embedded Getty Images Content may not be used: (a) for any commercial purpose (for example, in advertising, promotions or merchandising) or to suggest endorsement or sponsorship; (b) in violation of any stated restriction; (c) in a defamatory, pornographic or otherwise unlawful manner; or (d) outside of the context of the Embedded Viewer.

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With some restrictions, it’s basically a CC non-commercial sharing license. Getty gets a huge boost in link juice. But it means we can legally use images such as these, from the Cave at Lascaux, one of the great wonders of paleolithic culture.

This one is actually from inside the cave, some of the most recent photos taken, and somewhat rare, as the cave is mostly sealed now.

This is from the artificial cave, a simulation built for tourists. Still, it is a good reproduction of the famous wounded man.

This is a photo of the real thing, the famous yellow horse and red cow.

Humans for scale.

A nice diagram of the cave, showing the axial galleries. (The axial galleries are tunnels leading away froim the main chamber. the roof of one is covered with a pure white gypsum, a perfect background for some of the most perfect paintings.)

these are examples of some of the paintings in the white axial gallery. When the cave was first discovered, and as the early photos show, this was the purest pure white, and the paintings looked as if they had been done the day before, fresh and brilliantly colored. But humans visited the caves by the hundreds of thousands, good tourism money for France and the region, and dust and mold and algae discolored and dirtied everything. That’s why the caves are sealed today.

All the best, oldest, clearest, and most important of the Getty Lascaux photos are still locked up in royalty safes, very expensive, so, we rarely see them in their full size and beauty. But, hopefully soon more of the older photos will be released, or the prices will drop and the process of getting rights will become more automated and less subjective. (They don’t have standard rates.)

But it’s nice that these photos are available for this kind of use.

The will not let you embed images of Catalhoyuk. Or most of the great cromagnon and paleolithic art and discoveries.

They will let you embed the Venus of Laussel, one of the most important pieces of art on the planet. I saw the real one, about 20 years ago, along  with many of the other most famous items of cromagnon art mobilier (hand art and small art). This seems a fitting end to this piece – art from almost as far behind Lascaux, as Lascaux is behind us, in the flow of centuries and millenia.