Van Gogh masterpieces right into your PowerPoint slides

The full collection of Van Gogh masterpieces are available online, ready to be used in PowerPoint slides. Here’s how to get good quality images of the great man’s work and use them wisely in slides.

Not interested in Van Gogh? These tips show how to fit any image into PowerPoint as a picture or slide background.

It’s hard to visit Amsterdam and the fantastic Van Gogh Museum these days but their gorgeous collection is available online.

Our Editor-in-Chief, Peter Deegan, was lucky enough to visit the Van Gogh Museum in August 2020 with amazingly few people.  Usually, you can only view the original Sunflowers with a big crowd gazing or elbowing for selfies.    With COVID restrictions, Peter had no trouble with crowds!

Van Gogh Museum, August 2020. Source: Peter Deegan

The Museum has an ‘Enjoy from Home’ section of their web site.  Within that you can see all their paintings.

You can download the images and use in your documents including PowerPoint slides.  Make sure you don’t break any rights attached to commercial use of the images.

Find a painting or drawing and it’ll appear in a page with options to Zoom into fine detail, compare the size with a human (guess who) and download the image.

The download is a JPG of a reasonable size (Sumflowers is 609×800).  That’s enough for most purposes.  If you need a larger, better resolution image, try Google Image search.

Van Gogh in PowerPoint

Once you have the Van Gogh image, there are many ways to use it in PowerPoint.

Of course, just insert into a slide Insert | Picture.  In PowerPoint 365, Design Ideas will probably appear with formatting suggestions.

Slide background matching the image

Matching the slide background to the image is quite easy.  Right-click on the slide and choose Format Background | Solid Fill then choose the Eyedropper option from the bottom of the color selector.  Mac users go to More Colors and use the Eyedropper in the Mac system color selector.

Use the Eyedropper to select a color from the image or other slide element.

Van Gogh as slide background

Or use the Great Man’s work as a slide background.

An inserted image for slide background might appear very strangely but there’s plenty of options to fix that.

Change Offset – change all the offset options to 0% that will fit the image into the slide – no matter how skewed it might look.

Tile picture as texture – shows the image in correct proportions with tiling to fill the slide.

Use Alignment and Mirror Type to change how the image is replicated across the slide.

Transparency

Van Gogh’s bold colors look great but can be too much as a background.  That’s where the Transparency option lets you ‘dim’ the background so the slide text etc stands out.

Transparency – use the slider to change the background images appearance.