Art Up Your Zoom: beautiful backgrounds for your conference calls

screenshot of Zoom call with four people who have art backgrounds

With more and more people working from home at the moment, teleconference platforms have become increasingly popular.

Zoom, one popular platform for group calls has a great feature – Virtual Background – that allows you to transform your regular background with whatever picture you want.

So, how about some beautiful artworks and collections to spice up your calls and keep your colleagues or students engaged? We’ve curated some great artworks to use as your zoom background.

We’ve already formatted some examples for you, but if you don’t find exactly what you’re looking for click through to any of the four galleries below – filled with art to use so you can become the star of your next Zoom get-together.

Beautiful views

With these artworks, you can look like you are frolicking in nature instead of sitting behind your desk, or at least enjoying a stunning landscape from your home office window.

Attend class from your own personal cave. [download]

 Landschap naar het schilderij Fjeldgrotte paa Bornholm van G.E. Libert
Landschap naar het schilderij Fjeldgrotte paa Bornholm van G.E. Libert, 1850 – 1876. Rijksmuseum, the Netherlands, Public Domain

Or visit Venice, admiring the clear blue water of the canals (but having some issues with social distancing). [download]

 The Entry of the French Ambassador into Venice in 1706
The Entry of the French Ambassador into Venice in 1706. Rijksmuseum, the Netherlands, Public Domain.

But maybe your corner office can have a stunning view of the Dutch landscape, windmills slowly turning in the distance. [download]

 The Entry of the French Ambassador into Venice in 1706
The Amsterdam Outer Canal near the Leidsepoort Seen from the Theatre, 1813. Rijksmuseum, the Netherlands, Public Domain.

Explore more beautiful landscapes and views for your Zoom calls in this gallery.

Interesting Interiors

Being inside doesn’t have to be dull. Show off magnificent living spaces with these artistic impressions.

Turn your living room into a fairytale Scandinavian study, filled with light and greenery. [download]

 Flowers on the Windowsill. From A Home (26 watercolours)
Flowers on the Windowsill. From A Home (26 watercolours), Carl Larsson. Nationalmuseum, Sweden, Public Domain.

Show what you have to go through every day, living with roommates now in quarantine together. [download]

 Office of the Notary
Office of the Notary (Intendant’s Office Steward’s Office), Jan Woutersz. Stap, 1629. Rijksmuseum, the Netherlands, Public Domain. 

Intrigue your friends and colleagues with a Game of Thrones-style banquet in the background. [download]

 painting (oil): ["The Banquet"],
painting (oil): [“The Banquet”],  J.D. Linton, 1882. Nottingham City Museums and Galleries, United Kingdom, CC BY-NC-SA. 

Make your colleagues jealous of your very own secretary, happy to bring you coffee whenever you want. (She doesn’t seem to mind that you showed up to work in your pyjamas.) [download]

Jacob's office employee
Jacob’s office employee, Jacob’s Biscuit Factory, 1970-1975. Dublin City Library and Archive, Ireland, CC BY.

Explore more interesting interiors for your Zoom calls in this gallery

Abstract art

Bring colour into your meetings with these vivid abstract paintings – your screen will surely pop out among the rest!

Go for the ominous ‘science fiction villain’ look with this background. [download]

 Moddade datorer. Tävling på Tekniska museet i att bygga om sin dator
Moddade datorer. Tävling på Tekniska museet i att bygga om sin dator, Cronestrand, Nisse, 2005. Tekniska Museet, Sweden, CC BY. 

Make it look like you are surrounded by gold leaf everywhere. [download]

 Sonata No. 6 (Sonata of the Stars). Allegro
Sonata No. 6 (Sonata of the Stars). Allegro, Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, 1908. 
M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, Lithuania, Public Domain.

This trippy artwork will surprise and possibly confuse others on your call. [download]

 Healthy adult human brain viewed from the side, deep dream
Healthy adult human brain viewed from the side, deep dream, Henrietta Howells, NatBrainLab. Wellcome Collection, United Kingdom, CC BY.

Explore this gallery for more colourful abstract art.

Tranquil spaces

In difficult times people can be easily stressed, so bring some peace and tranquility to your Zoom room with these soft, quiet images.

Star in your own Studio Ghibli movie. [download]

 Lantaren op een rots aan de kust
Lantaren op een rots aan de kust,1890-1900. Rijksmuseum, the Netherlands, Public Domain. 

Breathe in the cold Swedish air and feel like the Highlander in this landscape. [download]

 Brahehus 2010
Brahehus 2010, Dada.cudla. Wikimedia Commons Community, Sweden, CC BY-SA.

Wear a halo of soothing watercolours. You clearly have everything under control with this. [download]

 Waaierblad in Japanse trant beschilderd met een landschap bij opkomende maan
Waaierblad in Japanse trant beschilderd met een landschap bij opkomende maan. 1850-1900. Rijksmuseum, the Netherlands, Public Domain. 

The sun is setting, it might be time to wrap up this Zoom meeting quickly! (Please pay no attention to the skull on my dresser.) [download]

Alkonyi csendélet,
Alkonyi csendélet, Mácsai István. Rippl-Rónai Megyei Hatókörű Városi Múzeum – Kaposvár, Hungary, CC BY.

Explore this gallery for more tranquil and calm backgrounds for your Zoom rooms.

And, for even more inspiration, browse through all our galleries.

Did you use one of these backgrounds? Take a screenshot and tweet it to us @EuropeanaEU, we’d love to see your creativity!

By Jolan Wuyts, Europeana Foundation

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