Prior to the arrival of the mass-produced camera in 1900, watercolour was the medium we used to record the world we encountered. The Watercolour World’s mission is to collect together all these documentary works – from private and public collections from across the globe – into a free, geolocated online database, for the whole World to see.

Volunteer with us

TWW would not exist without volunteers. They help us to scan, catalogue and upload thousands of images to the website each year.

Share your watercolours

The pre-photographic history of the world is hidden in the attics and albums of homes around the world. Add your piece of the puzzle.


The Watercolour World is for Everyone and we believe it can serve as an invaluable education resource for a number of subjects, across all ages.
Content for this section is in preparation. We very much welcome suggestions for teacher packs from the teaching profession. Please contact us if you would like to contribute.


The cathedral of Notre-Dame

On 15 April 2019 a fire ripped through the cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris causing the collapse of its spire … Read more

The best of the Broomhall House Collection

Broomhall House sits at the heart of Scottish history as the family home of the descendants of 14th-century king and … Read more

The Bristol riots of 1831

In October 1831, major riots broke out in Bristol after the House of Lords rejected a Reform Bill which was … Read more


We’ve recently added several hundred new paintings to our website from collections including Royal Irish Academy and The Alpine Club.


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