Skyrim Special Edition
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About this mod

Replaces all paintings in the Dragonborn Hall with art from the Metropolitan Museum of the Art in New York. Because why not?

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As someone who has gotten rather interested in open source programs, I've found myself looking at works that are in the public domain.  And since one other thing I'd always wanted to do was make a mod for Skyrim, I found myself wondering if there were any famous paintings that were in the public domain.  And as it turns out, there were a lot, which led me to make this mod.

Anyways, this mod replaces almost all paintings in the Dragonborn Museum, with only 2 exceptions (Lord Macnarian's portrait, and one of the paintings in the Safehouse) with real art that is found at the Metropolitian Museum of Art in New York City - a museum I have not personally visited, but plan on doing so in the near future.

To install this, just download it with Vortex or MO2 and load it after LOTD.  If you load it beforehand, you'll have the paintings in this mod overwritten by the ones in LOTD, so you're nullifying the point of installing this mod.  I'm not sure how you would go about installing this mod without a mod manager of sorts (I guess you'd drag and drop the paintings into the files of LOTD? If you do try that, I'd recommend making back-ups of the original paintings from LOTD first - and if it does work out, let me know so I can add those instructions to the description).  I will not help you if you wish to install this mod using NMM (switch to Vortex or MO2 - the LOTD team will tell you this just as many times as I will).

Obviously not compatible with any other painting replacers - aside from the fact that one will overwrite the other, why would you use more than one for the main mod anyways? Should not conflict with anything else, but in the extremely unlikely chance it does, let me know.

If you want any other mods to go with this, I guess you could use Tamrielic Culture to allow your Dragonborn to feel sophisticated with some of the spirits that mod adds (or really, any mod that adds more alcoholic drinks), or the Museum Music Replacer if you want baroque to go with it.  If you want to make your museum feel even fancier, there's Extravagent Legacy of the Dragonborn Replacer.  And of course, you could just use your favorite follower mod to let your Dragonborn have company while looking at the paintings (it could either be a completely new follower, like Lucien or my personal favorite follower Auri, or it could be a visual replacer for a follower present in vanilla - not gonna list any examples here because of just how many there are).

The list of artists and paintings that this mod uses:
Abraham van Beyeren:
Still Life with Lobster and Fruit 

Aelbert Cuyp:
Young Herdsmen with Cows 

Albert Pinkham Ryder:
The Smugglers' Cove 

Albert Bierstadt:
Mountain Scene 
Canadian Rockies 

Alexander H. Wyant:
View in County Kerry 

Alfred Sisley:
The Road from Moret to Saint-Mammès 

Andreas Achenbach:
Sunset after a Storm on the Coast of Sicily 

Arkhip Kuindzhi:
Red Sunset on the Dnieper 

Arnold Böcklin:
Roman Landscape 
Island of the Dead 

Asher Brown Durand:
River Scene 
The Beeches 

Auguste Renoir:
View of the Seacoast near Wargemont at Normandy 

Barend Cornelis Koekkoek:
Sunset on the Rhine 

Camille Corot:
The Ferryman 

Carl Rottman:
The Cemetery at Pronoia near Nauplia 

Charles Cromwell Ingham:
The Flower Girl 

Charles Dewolf Brownell:
Ingo, San Martin, Cuba 

Charles Francois Daubigny:
Apple Blossoms 

David Johnson:
Bayside, New Rochelle, New York 

Emanuel Murant:
The Old Castle 

Emile von Marcke:
The Flood Gate

Francois Boucher:
Imaginary Landscape with the Palatine Hill from Campo Vaccino 

Fritz Petzholdt:
German Landscape with View towards a Broad Valley 

Gaspard Dughet:
Imaginary Landscape 

Georg Flegel:
Still Life 

George Cochran Lambdin:

George Henry Harlow:
Self Portrait 

George Inness:
Peace and Plenty 
Across the Campagna 

Gigado Ashiyuki:
Arashi Rikan II as Miyamoto Musashi

Gustave Courbet:
The Hidden Brook 

Jean Francois Millet:
Haystacks: Autumn 

Jean-Leon Gerome:
Tiger and Cubs 
Study of Palm Trees 

Johannes Lingelbach:
Battle Scene 

John Brett:

John Fredrick Kensett:
Twilight in the Cedars at Darien, Connecticut 
Salt Meadow in October 

John William Hill:
Landscape: View on Catskill Creek 

Jules Dupre:
Valley of the River Loire

Julius von Leypold:
Wanderer in the Storm 

Katsushika Hokusai:
Under the Wave off Kanagawa 
Storm Below Mount Fuji 
Ancient Plum Tree in Bloom 
Seaside Village in Winter 
Fuji from Inume Pass 
A Snow-clad Landscape with Clouds 
Shower at the New Yanagi Bridge 
Reflections in Lake at Misaka in Kai Province 

Kawanabe Kyosai:
Swallows By a Waterfall 
Crow on a Branch 

Lucas Cranach:
Martin Luther 

Luis Melendez:
The Afternoon Meal (La Merienda) 

Nicholas Poussin:
The Companions of Rinaldo 

Ogawa Haritsu:

Peter Jaccob Horemans:
A Musical Gathering at the Court of the Elector Karl Albrecht of Bavaria

Philips Koninck:
A Panoramic Landscape with a Country Estate 

Student at a Table by Candlelight 
Man with a Magnifying Glass 

Richard Wilson:
Lake Nemi and Genzano from the Terrace of the Capuchin Monastery 

Ruger Dohono:

Samuel Colman:
Spanish Peaks, Southern Colorado, Late Afternoon

Tang Yin:
Drunken Fisherman by a Reed Bank 

Theodore Rosseau:
Sunset near Arbonne 
A River in a Meadow 
The Pond (La Mare)

Thomas Chambers:
Lake George and the Village of Cadwell

Thomas Cole:
View on the Catskill - Early Autumn 
The Mountain Ford 
View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm—The Oxbow 

Thomas Fearnley:

Unknown French Painter:
Still Life with Strawberries 
Perfume-burner supported by amorini and serpents and garlanded with flowers

Unknown Nepalese Painter:
Vasudhara Mandala 

Unknown Tibetan Painter:
The Great Renunciation of Siddhartha 

Vincent Van Gogh:

William Hart:
Scene at Napanoch 

William Rickarby Miller:
Pleasant Valley, New Jersey 
Indian Falls, Indian Brook, Cold Springs, New York 

William Stanley Haseltine:
Girgenti (The Temple of Juno Lacinia at Agrigentum) 
Study from Nature 

William Trost Richards:
Franconia Notch, New Hampshire 
Surf on Rocks 
Moonlight on Mount Lafayette, New Hampshire 

Winslow Homer:
Study for Eagle Head, Manchester, Massachusetts 

Yuan Yao:
Inn and Travelers in Snowy Mountains

Other questions I can see people having, and will pre-emptively answer:
Q: Why didn't you replace the two paintings in question?
A: Macnarian's painting would create a plot hole if replaced (I could hypothetically replace it with any portrait of a king or general, but after talking it over with the LOTD Discord, decided against doing so), and as for the one in the Safehouse, it had a different file type - as this is literally my first mod for Skyrim, I didn't want to go through the trouble of replacing it, so I decided to just leave it alone for now. Maybe one day in the future, when I'm more confident in my modding abilities, I'll replace it, but for now, it'll stay as is.

Q: Why isn't (insert famous painting here) in this mod?
A: I limited myself to paintings from the Met, simply because they're the most prominent museum I could find that released their stuff to the public domain, and as such, in addition to being limited by what they've released to the public domain, I'm also limited by what they have in their possession. For example: the Mona Lisa is on display at the Louvre, not the Met, so it's not a part of this mod (if I was to make a mod that used paintings from the Louvre, I would be more than happy to include it). That doesn't mean I included paintings that only art majors would know - I chose some very famous ones.

Q: Aren't you afraid of getting a DMCA takedown notification?
A: All of the art used was released into the public domain - aside from the fact that, I am fairly certain that all of the paintings I chose are from before 1923 (there might be 1-2 after that point), I explicitly chose stuff that the museum has as "Open Access". Also, it's not like I'm making any money off of this, and since all I did was copy images they posted on their website to use, I don't think there's anything they could get me on even if they wanted to.

Q: How did you decide what paintings to use?
A: I just chose what ones I thought looked cool. I opted to vary my list, and while Hokusai does get the most (I'm a Fate/Grand Order player, and she - or rather, his daughter - is one of my favorite servants to use), you'll find painters from a variety of countries and years. I would've used more countries, but I was limited by what was available (for example, I would've been overjoyed if I had found any paintings made by Polish or Portuguese artists, since I love playing as both countries in Hearts of Iron 4, but alas, I could not find any painters from either country with my restrictions.

Q: Isn't it a bit immersion-breaking to have real-life paintings?
A: Aside from the fact that the LOTD museum can have some stuff that's straight up lifted from other franchises (the Ichigo Kurosaki Sword and Alien Console from Skyrim Unique Treasures both come to mind), all the races in TES take aspects from real-world cultures (i.e., Bretons are basically French with hints of the British). You can just pretend that Hokusai is an Akaviri painter, for example. If the paintings had plaques that I could write stuff in, I would gladly make up backstories for each painting and included them in the mod.

Q: Would you be opposed to making another one of these using paintings from a different museum, or for an add-on to LOTD that has additional paintings?
A: In both cases, enough people would need to want me to do so. In the case of the former, if I found a museum that had paintings in the public domain, or they gave me the go-ahead to use them (I'm not that familiar with copyright law), I'd be more than happy to do so. In the case of the long as the paintings are .dds files, I'd be open to the idea if enough people asked (this last bit might change as I get more comfortable making mods). That being said, you won't see me making one of these for Odyssey of the Dragonborn, likely because I imagine that any paintings that mod adds would be in a similar position to the Lord Macnarian portrait (namely, it wouldn't make any sense to change them).

Q: Is this really your first mod?
A: Yes and no. It is my first Skyrim mod, but it is not the first mod I made period - I made a portrait replacer for Hearts of Iron 4 that you can find if you search my name on the Steam Workshop.

Q: I use the LE version of LOTD. Could you be talked into making a backport of this mod?
A: No.  I do not have LE, nor do I have the SE version of the last version released for LE.  As such, while it probably wouldn't be much work to do so, I would have no way of confirming if it worked (while this didn't use the creation kit, the file names would be different, and for all I know, the paintings are completely different).  But if you wanna make a version of this for LE, you are more than welcome to use the files in this mod - just let me know so I can link it on here.

Q: Does this mod need anything special to be used in SE/AE?
A: No, it works just fine - it only replaces textures. I'm using it on SE (I'M probably going to wait until mods that catch my interest that are AE exclusive start coming out before I make the jump forwards), so it should work just fine.

Q: Do you have a problem with people using this mod in collections?
A: Not really. As is, I'm kind of indifferent on collections, so if people want to use what I've currently uploaded in a collection, go nuts.

Q: I dislike the paintings you chose, and think you should change them.
A: That's not really a question. But if you really want to change the paintings yourself, it's easy to do with GIMP.

Q: I want to use the images you included in your mod in another mod. Do I have your permission to do so?
A: I didn't make any of the paintings in question, but sure! All I'd ask would be for you to a), link my mod in the description of your mod, and b), let me know (so I can link your mod in this mod's description in case other people want to use it alongside this one) - of course, that's if you upload it to Nexus. If you want to keep it for yourself, I won't mind.

Q: Will this mod get updated?
A: I'm not planning on adding any new paintings unless that hypothetical V6 adds them, but I'm probably doing/am considering doing the following at some point in the future:
-Making Hi-Def verisons of the paintings: This one I would've actually done from day one if I knew how. At the moment, I'm currently employed and don't have as much free time (and I'd probably want to do this in one big batch rather than dragging it out over weekends).
-Adding a power that provides audio commentary: This is the solution I came up with in regards to the lack of plaques to provide back stories. However, the problems I would have here are needing to find someone to provide voice-overs, and also I'm not sure how to program the power so that it would react to the specific painting (I know that I can do that thanks to the LOTD discord, but I'm just not sure how). Also, I'd need to, you know, come up with a lot of back stories, and convert the IRL years to TES years.

Q: Can we expect to see more work from you in the future?
A: I've got something in mind for expanding this mod.

Special thanks to:
The LOTD dev team and discord server (for inspiring me to make this mod, and also giving me some feedback)
The Met museum (whose decision to release paintings into the public domain basically made this mod happen).
All the artists who painted these paintings
Anyone who made another painting replacer mod (since that's how I learned how to make this mod)