All posts by bertholdkress

Mural Painting in the Warburg Institute Iconographic Database

Recently, several thousand photos of church interiors from Southern Germany have been uploaded into the Warburg Institute Iconographic Database (http://iconographic.warburg.sas.ac.uk), where they can be freely downloaded. Some 20,000 more images are waiting to be added. It is planned to link this collection with the Corpus der Barocken Deckenmalerei.

Following the principles of the Warburg Institute Photographic Collection, the metadata focusses on iconography. We describe subject-matter in a hierarchical system that allows us to place related subject-matters next to each other. In contrast to ICONCLASS, our system is flexible so that we can easily create new categories to describe innovative iconographies, which are so common in the Baroque. We include material in all media and from all countries (with a focus on Europe from Classical Greece to about 1800), so allowing users to note connections across time, space and materials. An entry on a painting in the crossing of Fürstenfeld Abbey may give an idea of our approach:

furstenfeldbruck

In addition to presenting our own photographs (up to now, only the sections on Mythology and Astrology of our Photo Collection have been systematically digitized), we also collaborate with other projects to make digitized material findable through iconographic classification. We have therefore evolved from being a digital photo collection towards a global iconographic research portal. A good example are our entries on some illuminated manuscripts from the Munich Staatsbibliothek, such as the Salzburg Missal.

Because European mural paintings often contain rich and complex iconographies and are comparatively little known, we would be very interested in collaborating with projects that are engaged in cataloguing them.

photographic.collect@sas.ac.uk

Image at the top: Schäftlarn Abbey