Links to art history websites

Internet is a research tool offering a wealth of information, not all of it dependable. The aim of this column is to provide links to selected art history sites that are worthy of interest and reliable.

New sites will be added regularly (the sign NEW means the link has just been posted on this page, not necessarily that a website has been created).

SCIENTIFIC JOURNALS (see also in assorted sites by art historians containing articles)

Apollo : The current issue of the journal is free online (must sign up)

The National Gallery of Canada’s Bulletin and Annual Bulletin (1963-1985) : All the articles appearing in these bulletins for over twenty years are accessible on Internet, with illustrations.

In situ, revue de l’Inventaire : The purpose of this journal is to report on work in progress by the French Inventaire. It is unfortunate that such a review is not available in paper form as well.

Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide : Journal devoted to the study of the nineteenth century in all of its artistic aspects (painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, architecture and decorative arts). Its interest is international and the issues published so far have articles about France, England, Belgium as well as Greece and the United States.

Art on the line : The first two issues are accessible free of charge, but are the only ones to have appeared. Although it continues online, this journal seems to be still-born.

Revue de l’Art : The Revue de l’Art is online at (for now, only the issues from 1985 to 1999 are available). Some articles are still awaiting author’s permission to be posted. Moreover, the site is partly devoid of illustrations.

Romanticism on the Net : Journal devoted to the study of Romanticism in England.

Images re-vues histoire, anthropologie et théorie de l’art : This is a new journal of art history online, prepared by four different research centers of the EHESS located at the Institut national d’histoire de l’art in Paris. To find previous issues, click on Archives.

Predella : Journal of the Department of Art History at the University of Pisa. It carries columns, reviews on exhibitions and recent books. It appears on an irregular basis (two to four issues a year).

Etudes photographiques : This semi-annual publication, which appears on paper, was also on Internet. Unfortunately, the French law on royalties does not include scientific journals and Etudes photographiques had to close its site online. We are keeping the name of this former link to protest against the law.


The Art Newspaper : A reduced version of the newspaper of the same name.

La Repubblica Arte : The section devoted to the arts on the Internet site of La Repubblica is of excellent quality.

Eosarte : Italian art journal on Internet, with extensive information on exhibitions in Italy. However, the site is poorly designed and interesting articles are hard to find.


The following are links to websites which provide a large selection of photographs of art works. See also headings under Museums, Databases and Sites on artists.

CGFA Sunsite : Danish website with numerous photographs of paintings.

Utpictura18 : This site is the result of a university research project. Its aim is to establish a relationship between texts and pictures from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. Created by literature historians, it can be a valuable tool for art historians as well, particularly by facilitating iconographic searches. At this moment it contains over 5500 images.

Insecula : This website is made up of a vast image database covering monuments, museums, sites, cities…Each picture has a cross reference to related themes (for example, if looking at a museum painting, one can choose to see all the pictures on the artist or subject).

Artcyclopedia : The site contains a search engine that can find, by using the artist’s name, images on the web.

ArtMagick : Devoted to the XIXth C., particularly the English Pre-Raphaelites.

Royal Collection : The base is not complete (for example, only 825 paintings out of 7000 are listed) but it is nevertheless very rich and each work has accompanying notes.

Photographic database of the RMN : Commercial website, meant for sale of ’Réunion des Musées Nationaux" negatives, but which can be used as a photo base for French museums. Also included are photographs of works from private collections lent for exhibitions.

Archives Scala : Same idea as for the RMN website.

Web Gallery of Art : Rich collection of photographs of works up to the XVIIIth C.

Iconography of Saint Sebastian : Large number of photos on the subject of Saint Sebastian from the XIVth to the XXth C., from painting to sculpture, including drawings, mosaics and stained glass (author : Alessandro Giua).

Shakespeare Illustrated : Database for illustrations of Shakespeare with entries by plays and artists (author : Harry Rusche).

1200 Years of Italian Sculpture : This site offers numerous reproductions of Italian sculptures (search by artist’s name, location and period).

Scultura italiana : Extensive selection of photographs of Italian sculptures from all periods.

Sculptures of Milanese Public Monuments : This site (in Italian), entitled Chi era costui ? (Who was he ?) lists, with photographs and reproductions of inscriptions, the heads (as well as the name plates) found in the streets of Milan. Although its aim is to identify the figures, it is also useful for historians of XIXth C. Italian sculpture.

40000 clochers  : The purpose of this site, created by a private individual with the help of volunteers, is to post photographs of all French religious buildings. There are already 7800. It is unfortunate that the interiors are not included. (Author : Alain Guinberteau).


For an almost comprehensive list of museum websites, go to special page. The following are museums with online catalogues listing a major part of their collections (the link takes you directly to the catalogue).

Austria :

Vienna, Albertina

Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum

Spain :

Image Database of Museums in Andalusia : Common database for works in Andalusian museums.

France :

Ecole nationale supérieure des beaux-arts (ENSBA) : see article.

Lafayette Database : Posted on the Musée du Louvre website, this excellent database lists American works of art held in French public collections between 1620 and 1940.

Musée du Louvre, Inventaire du département des arts graphiques : With over 140,000 entries for drawings, most of them with pictures, this is an indispensable tool.

Musée du Louvre, Atlas (database for works on display) : 29,000 works, i.e. 98% of those on display are available on this base. It can be consulted by searching for author, title, technique or inventory number, or gallery by gallery. Eventually, each object will be illustrated (a great part already is). Let us hope that the works in the reserves will soon join this extraordinarily useful base.

Saint-Omer, Musée de l’Hôtel Sandelin : The museum has posted a large part of its collections. The inventory was done with M3Collections software allowing for easy access by Internet.

Toulouse, Musée des Augustins : Database listing the collections, parts of which are illustrated.

Musées du Nord-Pas de Calais Database (Musenor) : On the website for the Association des conservateurs des musées du Nord-Pas de Calais.

Hungary :

Budapest, Hungarian National Gallery : The database is rather limited in number, but gives a good idea of the Hungarian School.

Italy :

Bergamo, Accademia Carrara : Many Italian museums have websites with little content and are poorly updated, but this one is a rare exception. It offers the catalogue of works on display at the Pinacoteca.

Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Inventory-catalogue of drawings : Of the 12,000 drawings, over 8,000 are posted. Photographs are available for inventory numbers up to 5760. Eventually, the whole collection will be offered online.

Netherlands :

Amsterdam, Historisch Museum

Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum

United Kingdom :

Government Art Collection : This database lists the works belonging to the English government located in public buildings as well as embassies and other British institutions abroad. Over 16,000 objects, mainly English, from the XVIth C. till today are listed and accompanied by photographs.

Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum : A part of the collections is online, along with numerous photographs but, generally, mostly for paintings with almost none for drawings. In any case, just as for other sites, works continue to be posted.

Edinburgh, National Galleries of Scotland : This database combines the collections of the National Gallery, the Portrait Gallery, the Gallery of Modern Art and the Photography Collection. It is not comprehensive but continues to grow.

London, Courtauld Institute of Art : The collections are online (all of the paintings, over 7,000 drawings and many engravings).

London, National Gallery : The entire collection is online.

London, Royal Academy : The entire collection is online.

London, Tate Gallery : The entire collection is online, but not all of the works have accompanying photographs.

London, Victoria & Albert Museum : Although not yet completed, the database for the V&A includes 20,000 objects and 26,000 photos.

London, Wallace Collection : All of the paintings and drawings of the Wallace Collection are reproduced on the website.

Manchester, Art Gallery : The database contains 20,000 objects (out of 25,000 in the museum). At the moment, only 1,500 are illustrated.

Oxford, Ashmolean Museum : The catalogue of the paintings is online. Each work has a corresponding photo and brief description.

Russia :

Saint Petersburg, Hermitage Museum : The Hermitage provides a part of its collection on its site.

United States :

Allentown Art Museum

Ann Arbor, The University of Michigan Museum of Art

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts : Very thorough database for the museum’s collections with a wide selection of photographs.

Chicago, Art Institute : Very complete.

Cincinnati Art Museum : Construction of the database is in progress but already offers numerous works.

Cleveland Museum of Art : All of the museum’s works are listed in the database. Only 10% have been photographed for the moment but the number is growing.

Detroit, Institute of Art : Database for the collections.

Fort Worth, Kimbell Art Museum : Database for the collections.

Harvard, University Art Museum : Database for the collections of the museums at Harvard (especially the Fogg Art Museum and the Busch-Reisinger Museum). Over half of the works are online at the moment.

Los Angeles, County Museum of Art : Over half of the collections are now online on this database.

Los Angeles, Getty Museum : The Getty Museum website reflects the institution’s considerable means and offers the entire collection, particularly drawings, paintings and sculptures.

New York, Metropolitan Museum : Database for the museum’s collections.

Washington, National Gallery of Art

DATABASES (other than museum websites) :

Artvalue : This website that offers results of auction sales since 1987 has a tremendous advantage over its competitors in that it is free, including access to photographs (it is still necessary to sign in for these and not all of the photos in the catalogues are included). The layout is very user-friendly.

Architectura (architecture, textes et images, XVIe-XVIIe siècles) : this site is composed of three data bases each listing respectively :
- printed texts and manuscripts devoted to architecture written and published in France or translated into French in the XVIth and XVIIth CC
- all of the illustrations and texts (books and manuscripts) concerning the consideration of French architecture during the Renaissance and the first half of the XVIIth C.
- manuscript and printed texts and graphic representations (drawings, engravings, paintings) of Gallo-Roman antiquities from the XVth to the XVIIth C... (Authors : Frédérique Lemerle and Yves Pauwels).

Dictionnary of pastellists (author : Neil Jeffares)

Dictionnaire des peintres belges : This is the internet version of the dictionary published in 1994 by La Renaissance du Livre. The very complete entries are complimented by links to the image database of the Institut Royal du Patrimoine Artistique (see below) and the website of the Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique (bibliographical references).

SIKART, dictionnaire et base de données des artistes Suisses et du Liechtenstein : This website, posted by the Institut suisse pour l’étude de l’art, is fascinating. One can search by both author and work. Biographical entries are often quite extensive. For the moment, this website is free but, although no date has been set, it will not remain so, alas.

Répertoire des architectes diocésains du XIXe siècle : This repertory is the enriched electronic version of the one which appeared in 1993 in the work by Jean-Michel Leniaud Les Cathédrales au XIXe siècle. Searches can be made by either location or architect. This website can be found on the site for online publications of the Ecole des Chartes.

Paris en construction

GAAEL (Guide en ligne des archives d’artistes, de galeristes et de collectionneurs) : Database for the INHA offering contents of the archives (XIXth and XXth CC.) held in France. At the moment, the XIXth C. provides only records from the INHA library but it is being expanded to include all of France.

Database for the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie : This Dutch site offers four databases including one for artists (200,000 names) and one for images (60,000) from the documents of the RKD. The two other bases are those of the archive collection and the library catalogue. The site is in Dutch, but an English version is planned. Dutch/English glossary for help in searching. Kunstenaar : name of the artist ; Naamdeel : part of the name ; Geboorteplaats : birthplace ; Sterfplaats : place of death ; Plaats van werkzaamheid : place of work ; Kwalificatie kunstenaar : artist’s field ; Onderwerp : subject of the work ; Onderwerpstrefwoord : subject (key-word) ; Titelwoord : word in the title ; Drager : technique ; Signatuur, merk enz. : type of signature.

Database of the Institut Royal du Patrimoine artistique : Inventory, with photographs, of the works held in many Belgian churches and museums.

Kunst Indeks Danmark : Database for Danish museums. It offers several thousand art works (in English and Danish).

Estampes françaises d’après les peintres italiens contemporains (1655-1724) : This database forms a complement to an article that appeared in Studiolo (2002) and was the basis of an essay entitled Gravures d’interprétation et échanges artistiques in Studiolo, Revue d’histoire de l’art de l’Académie de France à Rome, 1-2002. The author is Bénédicte Gady.

The Image of France 1793-1880 : This database lists French prints given to the Bibliothèque National following the legal record. Although it has no photos, it is very useful for XIXth C. historians.

Versailles, décor sculpté extérieur : This excellent website offers the entire collection of sculptures found outside the castle, both in the round statues and decorative bas-reliefs. It is extensively illustrated and very well documented.

The Samuel H. Kress Foundation : This site of the Kress Foundation includes, among other things, an illustrated database of works donated to the museums.

The Art Fund : This database offers, along with numerous photographs, the entire collection of works acquired for British museums thanks to the Art Fund’s contributions.

Travaux de recherche en histoire de l’art et archéologie (TRHAA) : This database of the INHA offers all the masters’ and doctoral theses submitted or in progress, in France.


Arcade Database : This base is a fundamental tool for historians of French art. It examines the contents of sub-series F21 (Administration des Beaux-Arts) of the Archives Nationales. This in no way replaces consulting the archives themselves, but greatly simplifies the search.

Correspondance administrative de Vivant-Denon : The site offers documents from the Napoleonic archives, including this correspondence which is fundamental in understanding artistic life during the Empire period.

Albums de photographies des Salons (then click on “recherche”) : The aim of the Archim (Archives nationales images de documents) database is to post documents from the French Archives on the net. These photographic albums include pictures of paintings and sculptures bought by the government at the Salons from 1864 to 1873 and from 1893, 1897, 1898 and 1900. They are very useful documents for historians of French art working on these periods.


Enguerrand Quarton : Excellent site which summarizes information about the artist and his circle, with the latest findings, attributions, publications and exhibitions.

Portraits au crayon des Clouet : Website devoted to the portraits drawn during the XVIth C. in France and particularly those by the Clouets, father and son. The author, Alexandra Zvereva, is preparing a doctorate directed by Denis Crouzet and Alain Mérot.

Pierre de l’Estache (circa 1688-1774) : A French sculptor who worked mainly in Rome. The site, which forms a complement to the article published in the journal Studiolo, Revue d’histoire de l’art de l’Académie de France à Rome, 1-2002, includes the catalogue raisonné, annexed documents, a detailed chronology, critical reviews and a complete bibliography. The author is Anne-Lise Desmas.

Elizabeth Vigée-Lebrun : Very detailed American website, which reproduces over 450 paintings by the artist. It also offers several old texts about the artist, entirely online, as well as the catalogue of the exhibition in 1982 at the Kimbell Art Museum, her memoirs (translated into English) and many other things. The author, Kevin J. Kelly, regularly adds to the site.

Joseph-Siffred Duplessis (1725-1802) : No scholarly recent biography exists on this portrait artist of the XVIIIth C. It is thus a welcome site, although it needs a little more content (only 12 paintings are reproduced). The author, Rachel Dudouit, is preparing a doctoral thesis on the painter.

Catalogue des ventes publiques de peintures et de dessins d’Eugène Delacroix : This database offers Delacroix works auctioned between 1824 and 1925.

Honoré Daumier : Website entirely devoted to the artist (authors : Dieter and Lilian Noack). See too : Daumier Register, by the same authors, The Digital Catalogue Raisonné on Daumier’s Complete Graphic Work.

Alexis André Desclos, dit Alexis André (1858-1935) : Site about this sculptor, forgotten today, posted by his grand-son. Numerous photographs of works in unknown locations.

Jacques-Léonard Maillet (1823-1894) : This site is designed by one of the heirs of this little-known sculptor, who won the Prix de Rome in 1847 and worked most notably on the Opéra Garnier building.

James Pradier : A remarkable website about this sculptor from Geneva. The author is Douglas Siler who published the artist’s correspondence and was co-commissioner of the exhibition at the Musée du Luxembourg.

Félix-Henri Giacomotti (1828-1909) : A small site but offering useful information on this painter, Prix de Rome in 1854 (author : Jérôme Pontarollo).

Jean-François-Armand Bernard (1829-1894) : Just like the previous one (and by the same author), this is a not a large site but valuable in that it studies a totally unknown artist, Prix de Rome de paysage historique in 1854.

Auguste Toulmouche (1829-1890) : This artist is a modest figure but the site, designed by an art historian that wrote a master’s thesis on him, Jean-Michel Lecadre, is interesting and very well done.

Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi (1834-1904) : The website of the Musée Bartholdi in Colmar, created by Laurent Ghesquière who worked on a volunteer basis, is well put together and shows that the sculptor existed other than as the author of the Statue of Liberty.

Paul Helleu : This site is due to the association Les Amis de Paul Helleu and to Paulette Howard-Johnson, daughter of the painter.

Luca Signorelli, the frescoes in Orvieto : Signorelli’s frescoes in the San Brizio chapel in the Duomo, are entirely reproduced here. A map of the chapel showing their location helps to visualize them.

Pinturicchio, the frescoes in the Libreria Piccolomini in Siena : The Pinturicchio frescoes in the Piccolomini Library, next to the Duomo, are all reproduced here.

Mario Minniti : An artist from Syracusa, of Caravaggesque influence. The site is that of the exhibition (Syracusa, Chiesa del Collegio dei Gesuiti, May 30-September 19, 2004) and is well documented on this minor painter but with a characteristic and endearing style.

The William Blake Archive : Sponsored notably by the Library of Congress, this very rich site seeks to offer the artist’s entire body of work (illustrated books, drawings...) It also provides a biography and links to other websites devoted to Blake.


World Wide Arts Resources : this portal offers different search options (name of movement, chronology, country or name of artist). Each artist has a very complete set of links for surfing on the net, hopefully to rewarding sites. However, there is no critical evaluation and the reader is left to form his own opinion. Furthermore, there are a few errors : for example, for Charles (-Louis) Müller the various links connect to other artists with the same last name. In another instance, Annibale Carracci is described as being a ...Neoclassical painter. It is, nevertheless, very useful.

Chris Witcombe, art history resources on the web : Created and operated by an art historian, professor at Sweet Briar College in Virginia, it is the major portal offering links to art history websites. Its main attraction, being the most comprehensive one available, has its drawbacks in that it does not necessarily select its offerings. Given the vast number of links provided, it is probably impossible for the author to check them all regularly. Thus, some have disappeared or have changed their address, showing only an empty page. One often needs to be persistent but extremely interesting sites can be found. Le portail de la culture : Internet directory designed by the French Ministry of Culture. Numerous sites on art history are offered, especially under the headings Musées and Patrimoine, but the search engine has been changed and it is hard to find the exhibitions.

Toulouse et Midi-Pyrénées : The site is a commercial one offering guided visits of Toulouse and the Midi-Pyrénées region. It provides links to various sites containing information and photographs of Toulouse’s most important monuments, as well as others devoted to the cultural heritage of the Midi-Pyrénées region.


ArtWatch International : Association which campaigns against abusive restorations. Very useful, although, in our opinion, a bit extreme in some of its stands.

ARIPA (Association pour le Respect de l’Intégrité du Patrimoine Artistique) : French equivalent of ArtWatch. Just as radical at times, but just as useful in its fight against certain trends (restorations that are overly frequent, needless and often too fast for reasons other than conservation).


Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (Paris) : Site for INHA

The Warburg Institute : This site provides, notably, the Institute’s programs as well as a series of links to other art history websites.


Common catalogue for the libraries of the Hertziana (Rome), the Kunshistorisches Institut (Florence) and the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte (Munich) : This joint catalog is a veritable tool for bibliographical research given the very large number of journals offered here (articles are indexed by title and subject).

Bibliothèque Nationale de France : The site of the BNF is a gold mine of useful information on art history. Of special interest in consulting is Gallica, an electronic library, where one finds numerous reference texts.


Art history is never associated traditionally with music history. However, the interaction between the two disciplines is very strong. We think it is therefore important to offer links to music history websites.

Musica et Memoria : This fascinating site provides extensive and very learned information on musicians, known or not. The section on the Prix de Rome of music is especially interesting.


Blogs, which allow individuals to express themselves freely and communicate with their readers, are proliferating on Internet. Everything depends obviously on the author’s personality. We will point out here those blogs devoted to art history that we believe bring real insight to the subject.

Art History Today : Very interesting and well informed blog by the English art historian David Packwood.

CultureGrrl : Blog by Lee Rosenbaum, American journalist specialized in museums. She is particularly knowledgeable on American institutions.

Paris 1900. L’architecture Art Nouveau à Paris (in French) : Quite simply remarkable. One of the best blogs currently devoted to art history.

Actualités de la recherche en histoire visuelle (in French) : In blog form, it is more of a journal, directed by a university scholar, André Gunthert, and has an editorial committee. Covering anything related to images, it offers mostly photography and contemporary art, but not exclusively.


Observatoire critique des ressources numériques en histoire de l’art et archéologie : The aim of this site is to make sources of history of art or archeology better known and to evaluate them, as well as to encourage exchanges and thinking in these fields.

Studies in Western tapestries : Website devoted to tapestries. Extensive information, debates and learned articles on the subject. It is directed by Guy Delmarcel and Koenraad Brosens, of the Université Catholique de Louvain.

Infovitrail : Site specialized in stained glass and its techniques, of which the author, Stéphane Marcadier is a craftsman. This technique is described in a clear and very complete manner.

Centre de recherche et de restauration des Musées de France : News on restorations in museums, descriptions of important restoration projects, the role and missions of the center, as well as a host of other informative items.

Site of Franco Moro : The author of this site is an art historian. He has posted several articles (in Italian, but French and English translations are planned).

Art Historian Information from Central Europe : Now that the EEC has expanded to include Central Europe, this new site devoted to information on art history (exhibitions, colloquiums, publications,...) in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary is particularly welcome.

L’histoire par l’image 1789-1939 : Site specialized in iconographic interpretation of paintings related to historical events since the French Revolution. The credentials of its authors (curators, university scholars, art historians,...) and its reading committee is a guarantee of its high quality. The site was created by the RMN. : This commercial site for the sale of old postcards offered by individuals (a little like Ebay) is a bottomless source of iconography (almost 10 million postcards are put up for sale at the same time) providing images of buildings or sculpted monuments that sometimes no longer exist. Versions exist for several countries (Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, United States, Netherlands, and United Kingdom).

Villa Médici : Site of the Académie de France in Rome.

Website of Pierre-Olivier Douphis : The author is an art historian and defended a thesis in 2001 on Paul Chenavard, draughtsman. A resident of Berlin, he posts reviews of exhibitions, reference texts (Théophile Gautier, David d’Angers,...) and other documents related to Germany.

Arte-argomenti : Italian website which is a bit disorderly, but where one finds articles, photographs and interesting links, when taking the time.

Didier Rykner, jeudi 14 avril 2005

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