For a long time only printed reproductions would make it possible at all, with obvious limitations, to give a visual impression outside the room the painting is actually displayed at a certain time. But with modern screens and displays this has changed dramatically and it would be technically very easy to show anything, any-time, anywhere.
However it is not that easy to find artworks displayed in a good quality. Pictures are shown in sizes and solutions in the range of useless to barely acceptable, rarely good enough to see any details of the beautiful craftsmanship, the delicacy of the fine drawing and colours.
It is heartbreaking to see even the best artworks often reduced to tumbnail sized symbols. They are treated like brands in the portfolio of their collections and museums, which should be dedicated to their greatest praise, but not to their great prize only. The reasons are very trivial and do not deserve too much room here.
We better should point out the opportunities missed.
Even if we are inside of the room the painting is displayed, often the situation does not allow a really good study of the details in the artwork. It might be too far away or it might be too big.
The combination of modern digital photography, easy data storage and screen display offers, without any physical danger to the fragile artworks, exactly the right tools to show more of the painting, even more we might see during a direct observation.
So please..... lets use them!