Iconclass Illustrated Edition

The comprehensive classification system for the content of images.

Providing subject access to the collections of many museums and libraries, but its vocabulary covers a spectrum of visual communication that is broader than that of the traditional cultural heritage domain.

This is the third version of the online Iconclass browser.
It is different from its predecessors, because it offers a large corpus of classified images to be used for comparison and inspiration.

History and future

Iconclass started as the idea of Henri van de Waal, professor of Art History at Leiden university. He laid the groundwork from the 1940’s forward. It was first published in printed form and then digitized. It is maintained and further developed under the auspices of the Henri van de Waal Foundation, but for a stable and sustainable future the Foundation will need the active support of the Iconclass user community.

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What to do?

CLICK on the image to the right, and read the corresponding description.

ZOOM with the + and – button or scroll with your mouse.

SEARCH & BROWSE for more information by clicking here

The Iconclass view of the world is subdivided in 10 main categories. The scope of each of these categories is here demonstrated by a random selection of images tagged with Iconclass concepts. An Iconclass concept consists of an alphanumeric class number (“notation”) and a corresponding content definition (“textual correlate”). An object can be tagged with as many concepts as the user sees fit. The samples in our demonstration set are tagged with just one concept.