RKD Explore

With RKD Explore you can simultaneously search these eight online databases containing millions of RKD records: RKDartists, RKDimages, RKDportraits, RKDtechnical, RKDlibrary, RKDarchives, RKDcollections and RKDexcerpts. The databases are freely available worldwide.

Cross-database searching

A targeted search in Explore is a good starting point for your research. You can begin your search from our homepage or go to, entering your search term(s) in the search box. This will bring up the results for each database. Naturally you can also limit your search to a single database. To perform a detailed search within a particular database, click the 'Advanced' button in the menu on the left. 

Filter options

The menu in the left side bar contains filters which you can use to start or refine a search. Each filter category will show a list of the most frequently found results. With the 'more' option you can choose further possibilities from an alphabetically arranged list. Selected filters are shown separately and can also be removed again. In addition you can select several options in the same filter (for example, Place: Amsterdam and Place: Rotterdam).

Combining search terms

The majority of the search fields available in RKD Explore support searches with multiple keywords. The following rules apply:

  • If you enter 2 or more terms, only records containing all of the terms (or the phrase as entered) will be found
    For example: Mondriaan Rembrandt
  • If you enter 2 or more words separated by (Boolean) AND, only records containing both terms will be found
    For example: Mondriaan AND Rembrandt
  • If you enter 2 or more words separated by (Boolean) OR, records containing any of the terms will be found
    For example: Mondriaan OR Rembrandt
  • To perform an advanced search with multiple keywords, use double quotation marks
    For example, Nationality/school: "German" AND "Dutch"
  • The following Boolean operators are supported: AND, OR, NOT
  • Boolean operators must be entered using capital letters

RKD account

An RKD account offers a number of additional advantages on top of the options mentioned above: it allows you to save searches and selections in between sessions, it offers quick and easy ways of requesting images, help with art-historical investigations or specialised research, and you can also add comments to records. Click here to create a free RKD account.