Art History: Resources for Research: 10-Iconography


IconResources marked with this symbol are restricted to Columbia affiliates.


Hall, James. Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art. (2008) (Online)
Avery-Fine Arts N7645 H1411
Best small handbook for western art.

Iconclass. (Online)
Avery Reference N7640 Aw11
An iconographic classification system devised by Henri van de Vaal and used in several photographic archives. See Image Indexes and Online Image Sites section for further Iconclass applications. The Iconclass system has been published in print along with a systematic bibliography arranged by iconography, 14 vols. + 3 vol. index (1981-85).

Lurker, M. Bibliographie zur Symbolkunde. 3 vols. (1964-68)
Avery-Fine Arts N7640 AL97
Interdisciplinary. Folded into title below.

Bibliographie zur Symbolik, Ikonographie und Mythologie. (1968- )
Avery-Fine Arts N3 B47
Related to the preceding.


Bober, P. and R. Rubinstein. Renaissance Artists and Antique Sculpture. (2nd ed. 2010)
Avery-LC NB85 B63 2010
Based on the Icon Census of Antique Works of Art and Architecture known in the Renaissance.

Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae. (LIMC) 8 in 16 vols. text and plate vols. (1981-1997)
Avery Reference N7760 L59 (copies available in multiple locations)
Covers Mycenaean to Early Christian. Entries in language of author (Eng., French, German, Italian). Updated bibliography can be found online on a German website at

LIMC (Lexicon iconographicum mythologiae classicae) France: databases. (Online)               
Free registration required for access. Contains three databases: [1] LIMCicon contains data relating to ancient Graeco-Roman documents bearing a mythological or religious representation. [2] LIMCbiblio contains recent bibliographical data to complete the information published in the LIMC volumes. [3] LIMCabrev allows you to find the full names of the bibliographical abbreviations used in the LIMC, in the ThesCRA and on this site.


Lexikon der Christlichen Ikonographie. Ed. by E. Kirschbaum. 8 vols. (1968-76)
Avery Reference N7645 L59
Standard dictionary of Christian iconography and the saints.

Icon Index of Medieval Art Database. (Online 1991 to date)
A huge photographic archive with a thematic index in card catalog form. Reproduces and indexes all Christian art up to 1400. Online version rarely includes illustrations.  Princeton has the full archive from 1917 to date.

Réau, Louis. Iconographie de l'Art Chrétien. 6 vols. (1955)
Avery Reference N7640 R23

Schiller, Gertrud. Ikonographie der Christlichen Kunst. 5 vols., index vol. (1966-91)
Avery Reference N7648 Sch33

Schiller, Gertrud. Iconography of Christian Art. 2 vols. (1971-72)
Avery Reference N7648 Sch332 (copies available in multiple locations)
English transl. of vols. 1-2 only of above.


Kaftal, G. Saints in Italian Art. 4 vols. (1952-1985)
Avery Reference N8080 K115-118
By region. Each vol. has separate title.

Rubinstein, R. and P. Bober, eds. Renaissance Artists and Antique Sculpture: a Handbook of Sources. (2nd ed. 2010)
Avery-LC NB85 B63 2010

Tervarent, A. Attributs et Symboles dans l'Art Profane, 1450-1600. (2nd 3d. 1997)
Avery-Fine Arts N7645 T671
Based on Icon The Census of Antique Works of Art and Architecture Known in the Renaisssance

Van Marle, Raimond. Iconographie de l'Art Profane au Moyen-Age et à la Renaissance. 2 vols. (1931)
Avery Reference N7640 M34

Zappella, Giuseppina. IRIDE: Iconografia Rinascimentale Italiana: Dizionario Enciclopedico: Figure, Personnagi, Simboli e Allegorie ne Libro Italiano del Quattrocento e del Cinquecento. (1992-)
Avery-Fine Arts N6915 Z17


Pigler, A. Barockthemen. 3 vols. (1974)
Avery Reference N7640 P621
Classical and Biblical iconography only. Illustrated. References to further illustrations.


(Here are samples of books on non-western iconography.)

Eberhard, Wolfram. A Dictionary of Chinese Symbols: Hidden Symbols in Chinese Life and Thought. (1986)
Starr East Asian DS 721 .E32613 1986

Stutley, Margaret. Illustrated Dictionary of Hindu Iconography. (1985)
Avery-Fine Arts N8190 St98