RKD Netherland Institute for art History
The multilingual Iconclass Browser serves as a search tool that allows an indexer to find the concepts to tag an image. Needless to say, it can also be used to establish the correct meaning of a notation. The Iconclass Browser contains English, German, French and Italian keywords and descriptions. Beside that, there are partial translations in Finnish and Norwegian and experimental translations in Chinese and Dutch (not yet online).
Iconclass is a subject-specific classification system. It is a hierarchically ordered collection of definitions of objects, people, events and abstract ideas that serve as the subject of an image. Art historians, researchers and curators use it to describe, classify and examine the subject of images represented in various media such as paintings, drawings and photographs. The three main components of Iconclass are:
Of all the RKD digital collections the Images database makes the most use of Iconclass. Art works on a mythological or biblical subject are generally marked with Iconclass codes. In Explore you can find art works by searching on these Iconclass codes. The RKD also has a collection of images in the study room which are categorised by subject code. The iconographic book collection is also sorted using the Iconclass system.