Iconclass, an international classification system for art and iconography, helps scholars describe and classify subjects, themes, and motifs represented in images. This feature allows you to identify and access artworks in The Leiden Collection through the Iconclass terms below. By either selecting a category (i.e., Religion and Magic) or searching for a specific keyword, users may discover the Iconclass hierarchy of subjects, each represented by an alphanumeric classification code. This interactive research tool encourages users to explore and connect ideas and motifs in the Collection in both broad and focused ways. Each individual artwork entry in The Leiden Collection Online Catalogue also includes a list of its Iconclass terms, which are accessible at the bottom of the respective entry page.
The Dutch art historian and University of Leiden professor Henri de Waal began the development of the Iconclass system of classification for subjects, themes, and motifs in Western art in the 1950s. Since 2009, this system has been accessible through the Iconclass Browser, an index of concepts and terms developed by Etienne Posthumus and Hans Brandhorst in cooperation with the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD). The Iconclass Browser forms the foundation of the Arkvyes database, which congregates and classifies images from various participating collections (museums, libraries, and research institutes) according to Iconclass terms. The Leiden Collection Online Catalogue’s integration with Arkyves enables users to explore, compare, and contextualize works of art in the Collection through the Iconclass system. This collaboration was made possible with the assistance of Etienne Posthumus.
To learn more about Iconclass, visit: https://iconclass.org/
To learn more about Arkyves, visit: https://www.arkyves.org/