Art historians and scholars have long recognized that works of art are often separated from their roots in history, literature, philosophy, and theology--a division of the visual image from the printed word that weakens and dilutes an integrated, historical study of the humanities.
Index Iconologicus was developed to remedy this artificial separation. Conceived by Dr. Karia Langedijk of Duke University, this index is similar in concept to the world-renowned Princeton Index of Christian Art, but differs in that it:
The Index spans the major periods of art and literary history and includes more than 60,000 entries, with a concentration of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century art. The earliest imprint is 1250 and the most recent is 1940. In addition to photographic reproductions of artistic works, the index contains a wealth of literary, historical, and bibliographic information.
With this collection, students and scholars of literature can trace the development of literary themes as represented in works of art. Historians can explore the theological, historical, and philosophical backgrounds in artistic works from four centuries.
Each entry in Index Iconologicus is arranged alphabetically by keyword, and these keywords are tied to specific subjects such as:
Fine arts libraries and museums, as well as institutions supporting a multitude of humanities programs, will consider this a landmark research tool for comparative studies in the humanities.