0 Abstract, Non-representational Art 1 Religion and Magic 2 Nature 3 Human Being, Man in General 4 Society, Civilization, Culture 5 Abstract Ideas and Concepts 6 History 7 Bible 8 Literature 9 Classical Mythology and Ancient History
The outline below lists the 450 basic categories of the Iconclass system. You can use the outline to familiarize yourself with the main groups of subjects.
10 (symbolic) representations ~ creation, cosmos, cosmogony, universe, and life (in the broadest sense) 11 Christian religion 11A Deity, God (in general) ~ Christian religion 11B the Holy Trinity, 'Trinitas coelestis'; Father, Son and Holy Ghost ~ Christian religion 11C God the Father 11D Christ 11E the Holy Ghost 11F the Virgin Mary 11G angels 11H saints 11I prophets, sibyls, evangelists, Doctors of the Church; persons ~ the Bible (not in biblical context) 11K devil(s) and demons 11L Christian doctrine 11M 'Sapientia' and the Seven Virtues, i.e. the Three Theological and the Four Cardinal Virtues 11N Vice, and the Seven Deadly Sins 11O strife between Virtues and Vices, Psychomachy 11P the Church (as institution) 11Q the worship of God 11R the life of man 11S heaven, celestial paradise, New Earth 11T hell and purgatory 11U Last Judgement 11V the (seven) Acts of Mercy 12 non-Christian religions (including institutions, customs and antiquities) 12A Jewish religion and culture 12B non-Christian religions and cults (in general) 12C Egyptian religion 12D Babylonian-Assyrian religions and other antique religions of the Near East and Northern Africa 12E Greek religion (including Minoan and Mycenaean culture) 12F Roman religion (including Etruscan religion) 12G Mithraism and other Hellenistic or Late Roman (provincial) religions (including ancient Iranian religions) 12H Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism 12I Islam, Mohammedanism 12K Celtic religion 12L Germanic and Scandinavian religions 12M Slavonic and other European and Central-Asian religions (including Basque, Finnish, and Magyar religions) 12N traditional Chinese religions 12O Shinto 12P tribal religions of South-East Asia 12Q African tribal religions 12R American Indian religions 12S Australian and Polynesian/Melanesian religions 12T Arctic religions (Siberian-, Lapp-, Eskimo-religions) 12U miscellaneous religions, cults and doctrines 13 magic, supernaturalism, occultism 13A general phenomena ~ magic and supernaturalism (spirits, ghosts, etc.) 13B witchcraft, sorcery 13C magic signs and objects (numbers, words, etc.) 13D enchantment (evil eye, transformation, healings, etc.) 13E divination, prognostication ~ magic 13F microcosmos ~ macrocosmos 13G superstition, popular belief 13H parapsychology 14 astrology 14A astrologer at work 14B horoscope 14C astrological signs and symbols
20 'Natura' (allegorical figure or scene; or as Diana of Ephesus, with many breasts); 'Natura' (Ripa) 21 the four elements, and ether, the fifth element 21A air (one of the four elements) 21B earth (one of the four elements) 21C fire (one of the four elements) 21D water (one of the four elements) 21E ether as 'quinta essentia' 22 natural phenomena 22A matter 22B electricity and magnetism 22C light 22D sound 22E temperature 23 time 23A allegory of Time and Eternity 23B period of more than one year 23C year, solar year 23D seasons of the year (esp. personifications); 'Stagione', 'Le quattro stagione dell'anno' (Ripa) 23E seasons of the year represented by scenes showing human activities, usually in a landscape 23F seasons of the year represented by landscapes 23G seasons of the year represented by still lifes of flowers and/or fruits 23H seasons of the year represented by concepts other than personifications, human activities, landscapes, or still lifes of flowers and/or fruits (e.g. biblical scenes) 23I the twelve months (especially personifications); 'Mese in generale' (Ripa) 23K the twelve months represented by scenes showing human activities, usually in a landscape; so-called 'labours of the months' 23L the twelve months represented by landscapes 23M the twelve months represented by still lifes of flowers and/or fruits 23N the twelve months of the year represented by concepts other than personifications, human activities, landscapes, or still lifes of flowers and/or fruits 23O zodiac; the twelve zodiacal signs together 23P weeks 23Q days of the week 23R day and night 23S the empires of the world 23T historical epochs 23U chronology 24 the heavens (celestial bodies) 24A sun as celestial body 24B moon as celestial body 24C planets (except the earth) 24D stars 24E astronomical phenomena 24F firmament, sky 24G spheres ~ heavens 25 earth, world as celestial body 25A maps, atlases 25B continents represented allegorically 25C geological phenomena 25D rock types; minerals and metals; soil types 25E geological-chronological division; historical geology; geological era 25F animals 25G plants; vegetation 25H landscapes 25I city-view, and landscape with man-made constructions 25K landscapes in the non-temperate zone, exotic landscapes 25L cities represented allegorically or symbolically 25M the Seven Wonders of the World 25N fictitious countries 26 meteorological phenomena 26A clouds 26B rain 26C winds 26D frost, freezing weather 26E thunderstorm 26F good and bad weather 26G mirage, 'fata morgana' 26H still other meteorological phenomena 29 surrealia, surrealistic representations 29A animals acting as human beings 29B plants behaving as human beings or animals 29C objects coming to life, e.g. puppets 29D natural forms in stones, wood, clouds, etc. interpreted as representations
31 man in a general biological sense 31A the (nude) human figure; 'Corpo humano' (Ripa) 31B mind, spirit 31C spirit (or soul) versus body 31D human life and its ages (young, adult, old, etc.) 31E death of human being 31F symbols and personifications of Death 31G the soul 32 human types; peoples and nationalities 32A human types 32B peoples; ethnic groups; nationalities 32C scientific classification of human races 33 relations between individual persons 33A non-aggressive relationships 33B aggressive relationships, enmity, animosity 33C relations between the sexes 34 man and animal 34A taming and training of animals 34B domestic animals, kept in and outside the house 34C protection of animals 34D control and eradication of injurious animals 34E restraint of animals 34F man and (wild) animal 34G man disguised as animal 35 pastorals, Arcadian scenes 36 man and environment 36A environmental conservation, protection 36B environmental destruction
41 material aspects of daily life 41A housing 41B heating and lighting 41C nutrition, nourishment 41D fashion, clothing 41E still life of miscellaneous objects 42 family, descendance 42A procreation, birth and (early) youth 42B parents with their children 42C period of adolescence 42D betrothal and marriage 42E burial rites 42F household management; housewife at work 42G family, relationship, descent 42Z exotic and non-monogamous family forms 43 recreation, amusement 43A festivities 43B recreation 43C sports, games and physical performances 43D other leisure time activities 44 state; law; political life 44A symbols of the state (in general) 44B government, the State; 'Politica', 'Auttorità o Potestà' (Ripa) 44C the citizen and his rights 44D administrative bodies 44E government services, public services 44F revolution, revolt 44G law and jurisprudence 45 warfare; military affairs 45A war and peace 45B the soldier; the soldier's life 45C (military) equipment and supply 45D insignia; division of armed forces; ranks 45E communication and transport 45F preparation for battle 45G defensive measures (military) 45H battle, fighting in general 45I after the battle 45K siege, position war 45L occupation ~ war 45M non-combatants ~ war 46 social and economic life, transport and communication 46A communal life 46B trade, commerce and finance 46C traffic and transport 46D press, journalism 46E post, telegraph and telephone; means of communication 47 crafts and industries 47A industrial structures 47B handicrafts and industries 47C industrial processes, handling of materials 47D machines; parts of machines; tools and appliances 47E organization of craft and industry 47F before and after production 47G building activities 47H textile industry and clothing industry 47I agriculture, cattle-breeding, horticulture, flowerculture, etc. 47K commercial fishery 47L shipbuilding industry 48 art 48A art and the public; styles and ornaments 48B artist (in general) 48C the arts; artists 49 education, science and learning 49A education 49B scholastic education, tuition 49C aspects of science in general 49D mathematics 49E science and technology 49F biology 49G medicine, medical science 49H social sciences 49I geography 49K historical disciplines; philology 49L writing and letters 49M production of printed matter, book-production 49N reading
51 Generalities 51A Existence and Modes of Existence 51B Kinds of Relation 51C Causation 51D Order and Disorder 51E Hierarchical Order 51F Temporal Relationship 51G Some Characteristics of Matter 51H Quantity and Degree 51I Space 51K Aspects of Change 51L Types of Motion 51M Quality of Motion 52 Reasoning and Formation of Ideas 52A Intelligence and Intellectual Faculties 52B Reasoning 52C Understanding and Misunderstanding 52D Communication of Thought (qualitative aspects) 52E Communication of Thought (answer and question) 53 Will, Volition 53A Characteristics of Will 53B Acts of the Will 53C Authority and Subordination 53D Intersocial Volition 54 Process of Action 54A State of Being while Doing 54B Means and Characteristics of Means 54C Intention, Purpose, Aim 54D Procedure 54E Reciprocal Action 54F Fortune and Misfortune 55 Property 55A Acquisition and Loss 55B Possession 55C Use of Property 56 Emotion 56A Feeling 56B Joy and Sorrow 56C Aesthetic Sense 56D Hope and Fear 56E Anger and Meekness 56F Desire and Aversion 57 Morality 57A Good and Bad Behaviour, Moral Qualities 57B Judgment of Conduct 58 Creation 58A Creation and Destruction 58B Vitality and Mortality 59 Aspects of Social Conduct 59A Man ~ Community 59B Social Position 59C Justice and Injustice
61 historical events and situations; historical persons 61A historical events and situations 61B historical persons (portraits and scenes from the life) 61C proper names of plants and animals 61D geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. 61E names of cities and villages 61F names of historical buildings, sites, streets, etc. 61G names of artefacts and man-made objects 61H names of organizations, companies, trade unions, etc. 61I names of historical events and situations 61K (other) historical names 62 visions of the future
71 Old Testament 71A Genesis from the creation to the expulsion from paradise, and later years of Adam and Eve 71B Genesis from the descendants of Cain and Seth to Abraham 71C Genesis: the patriarchs 71D Genesis: the story of Joseph 71E Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua: from the bondage of the Israelites in Egypt to their settlement in Canaan 71F the time of the Judges 71G story of Saul 71H story of David 71I story of Solomon 71K division of the Kingdom, and story of Israel, the Northern Kingdom 71L the divided kingdom: story of the Southern Kingdom (Judah) 71M story of Elijah (Elias) 71N story of Elisha (Eliseus) 71O prophets (before and during the Babylonian Captivity) 71P the story of the prophet Daniel; his visions and prophecies 71Q the story of Esther 71R the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esdras 71S prophets (after the Babylonian Captivity) 71T the book of Tobit 71U the book of Judith 71V the book of Jonah 71W the book of Job 71X the lyric books: Psalms and Song of Solomon 71Y the books of Wisdom 71Z (books of the) Maccabees 72 typological juxtapositions and compositions 72A typological juxtapositions 72B comprehensive typological compositions 73 New Testament 73A (scenes from the life of) John the Baptist and Mary 73B birth and youth of Christ 73C public life of Christ: from his baptism until the Passion 73D Passion of Christ 73E events from Resurrection to Pentecost (Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20-21; Acts 1:3-11); Mary's and Joseph's death 73F lives and acts of the apostles of Christ; epistles 73G the Revelation of John, the Apocalypse
81 literary cycles 81A Arthurian legend : Use 81(ARTHURIAN LEGEND) 81B 'Nibelungenlied' : Use 81(NIBELUNGENLIED) 81C Dante, 'Divina Commedia' : Use 83(DANTE, Divina Commedia) 81D Boccaccio, 'Decameron' : Use 83(BOCCACCIO, Decamerone) 81E Ariosto, 'Orlando Furioso' : Use 83(ARIOSTO, Orlando Furioso) 81F Tasso, 'Gerusalemme Liberata' : Use 83(TASSO, Gerusalemme Liberata) 81G 'The Poems of Ossian' : Use 83(MACPHERSON, Poems of Ossian) 81H other cycles : Use 81(...) 82 literary characters and objects 82A names of literary characters 82B names of fictional animals, plants, objects, etc. 83 specific works of literature 84 tales and fairy tales 85 fables 85A fables of Aesop : Use 85(...) 85B fables of Lafontaine : Use 85(...) 85C other fables : Use 85(...) 86 proverbs, sayings, etc.
91 myths about creation: cosmogony, theogony, and the origin of man 91A genesis of the universe ~ classical mythology 91B offspring of Uranus and Gaea (Titans, Cyclopes, Centimani) 91C the battles (of Titans, Giants, Typhon, Aloeids) with the gods 91D division of the universe (among Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto) 91E origin of man 92 gods ~ classical mythology 92A the Olympian gods together: Jupiter, Juno, Neptune, Ceres, Apollo, Diana, Mars, Venus, Mercury, Minerva, Vulcan, Vesta (or Bacchus) 92B the great gods of Heaven, and their train 92C the great goddesses of Heaven, and their train 92D lesser divinities of Heaven ~ serving and attendant environment 92E lesser divinities of Heaven ~ phenomena of air and sky 92F lesser divinities of Heaven ~ birth and healing 92G lesser divinities of Heaven ~ destiny, fate, adversity 92H gods of the waters: Neptune and his environment 92I gods of the waters: the older dynasty (first series): offspring of Pontus and the monsters of the sea 92K gods of the waters: the older dynasty (second series): children of Oceanus, river and small water deities 92L gods of the earth and fertility ~ life in mountains and woods 92M gods of the earth and fertility ~ agriculture 92N gods of the underworld 93 meetings and dwellings of the gods 93A meetings of the gods 93B Olympus 93C Parnassus, sacred to Apollo Musagetes 93D Helicon, sacred to the Muses 93E Hades, the Underworld 93F the Garden of the Hesperides 93G House of Sleep: a gloomy cave through which runs the river Lethe; possibly with two gates, one of ivory through which deceptive dreams issue, and one of horn through which true dreams issue 93H cave of winds 93I other dwellings of the gods 94 the Greek heroic legends (I) 94A the story of the Argonauts: the quest for the Golden Fleece 94B the Theban wars: the Seven against Thebes and the Epigoni 94C the Trojan war (94C - 94H) 94D the Trojan war: the journey to Troy 94E the Trojan war: the arrival and the first nine years 94F the tenth year of the Trojan war (part I); the wrath of Achilles: from the quarrel about Briseis to the death of Patroclus 94G the tenth year of the Trojan war (part II): Achilles back to war; his last deeds and his death 94H last months of the siege and the fall of Troy 94I adventures of the Greeks after the fall of Troy: the wanderings of Ulysses (Homer, Odyssey) 94K adventures of the Greeks after the fall of Troy: the return of other Greek heroes 94L (story of) Hercules (Heracles) 94M (story of) Theseus 94N (story of) Meleager 94O (story of) Orpheus 94P (story of) Perseus 94Q (story of) Orion 94R (story of) the Dioscuri: Castor (the horse-tamer) and Pollux (the boxer) 94S (story of) Bellerophon 94T (story of) Oedipus 95 the Greek heroic legends (II) 95A the Greek heroic legends (II): heroes 95B the Greek heroic legends (II): heroines 96 Roman gods and legends 96A Roman deities, and foreign deities included in the classical Pantheon 96B the story of Aeneas' wanderings to Italy (Virgil, Aeneid) 96C heroes, male characters from the legendary origins of Rome 96D heroines, female characters from the legendary origins of Rome 97 metamorphoses ~ classical mythology 97A metamorphoses of male persons into trees 97B metamorphoses of male persons into plants and flowers 97C metamorphoses of male persons into mammals 97D metamorphoses of male persons into birds 97E metamorphoses of male persons into (fabulous) animals 97F metamorphoses of male persons into stone 97G metamorphoses of male persons into stars and constellations 97H metamorphoses of male persons into water, air, or other elements 97I metamorphoses into islands 97K metamorphoses ~ sex 97L metamorphoses ~ age 97M metamorphoses into various forms at will 97N metamorphoses of (fabulous) animals 97O metamorphoses of objects, plants and flowers 98 classical history 98A events and situations from classical history 98B male persons from classical history 98C female persons from classical history