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Outline of the Iconclass system

The 10 main categories - click one to start browsing and searching

0 · Abstract, Non-representational Art

1 · Religion and Magic

2 · Nature

3 · Human Being, Man in General

4 · Society, Civilization, Culture

5 · Abstract Ideas and Concepts

6 · History

7 · Bible

8 · Literature

9 · Classical Mythology and Ancient History

The outline below lists the 450 basic categories of the Iconclass system. You can use the outline to familiarize yourself with the main groups of subjects. When you click on a concept you can see how each category is further subdivided.

Three levels deep

0 · Abstract, Non-representational Art

1 · Religion and Magic

  10 · (symbolic) representations ~ creation, cosmos, cosmogony, universe, and life (in the broadest sense)

  11 · Christian religion

    11A · Deity, God (in general) ~ Christian religion

    11B · the Holy Trinity, 'Trinitas coelestis'; Father, Son and Holy Ghost ~ Christian religion

    11C · God the Father

    11D · Christ

    11E · the Holy Ghost

    11F · the Virgin Mary

    11G · angels

    11H · saints

    11I · prophets, sibyls, evangelists, Doctors of the Church; persons ~ the Bible (not in biblical context)

    11K · devil(s) and demons

    11L · Christian doctrine

    11M · 'Sapientia' and the Seven Virtues, i.e. the Three Theological and the Four Cardinal Virtues

    11N · Vice, and the Seven Deadly Sins

    11O · strife between Virtues and Vices, Psychomachy

    11P · the Church (as institution)

    11Q · the worship of God

    11R · the life of man

    11S · heaven, celestial paradise, New Earth

    11T · hell and purgatory

    11U · Last Judgement

    11V · the (seven) Acts of Mercy

  12 · non-Christian religions (including institutions, customs and antiquities)

    12A · Jewish religion and culture

    12B · non-Christian religions and cults (in general)

    12C · Egyptian religion

    12D · Babylonian-Assyrian religions and other antique religions of the Near East and Northern Africa

    12E · Greek religion (including Minoan and Mycenaean culture)

    12F · Roman religion (including Etruscan religion)

    12G · Mithraism and other Hellenistic or Late Roman (provincial) religions (including ancient Iranian religions)

    12H · Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism

    12I · Islam, Mohammedanism

    12K · Celtic religion

    12L · Germanic and Scandinavian religions

    12M · Slavonic and other European and Central-Asian religions (including Basque, Finnish, and Magyar religions)

    12N · traditional Chinese religions

    12O · Shinto

    12P · tribal religions of South-East Asia

    12Q · African tribal religions

    12R · American Indian religions

    12S · Australian and Polynesian/Melanesian religions

    12T · Arctic religions (Siberian-, Lapp-, Eskimo-religions)

    12U · miscellaneous religions, cults and doctrines

  13 · magic, supernaturalism, occultism

    13A · general phenomena ~ magic and supernaturalism (spirits, ghosts, etc.)

    13B · witchcraft, sorcery

    13C · magic signs and objects (numbers, words, etc.)

    13D · enchantment (evil eye, transformation, healings, etc.)

    13E · divination, prognostication ~ magic

    13F · microcosmos ~ macrocosmos

    13G · superstition, popular belief

    13H · parapsychology

  14 · astrology

    14A · astrologer at work

    14B · horoscope

    14C · astrological signs and symbols

2 · Nature

  20 · 'Natura' (allegorical figure or scene; or as Diana of Ephesus, with many breasts); 'Natura' (Ripa)

  21 · the four elements, and ether, the fifth element

    21A · air (one of the four elements)

    21B · earth (one of the four elements)

    21C · fire (one of the four elements)

    21D · water (one of the four elements)

    21E · ether as 'quinta essentia'

  22 · natural phenomena

    22A · matter

    22B · electricity and magnetism

    22C · light

    22D · sound

    22E · temperature

  23 · time

    23A · allegory of Time and Eternity

    23B · period of more than one year

    23C · year, solar year

    23D · seasons of the year (esp. personifications); 'Stagione', 'Le quattro stagione dell'anno' (Ripa)

    23E · seasons of the year represented by scenes showing human activities, usually in a landscape

    23F · seasons of the year represented by landscapes

    23G · seasons of the year represented by still lifes of flowers and/or fruits

    23H · seasons of the year represented by concepts other than personifications, human activities, landscapes, or still lifes of flowers and/or fruits (e.g. biblical scenes)

    23I · the twelve months (especially personifications); 'Mese in generale' (Ripa)

    23K · the twelve months represented by scenes showing human activities, usually in a landscape; so-called 'labours of the months'

    23L · the twelve months represented by landscapes

    23M · the twelve months represented by still lifes of flowers and/or fruits

    23N · the twelve months of the year represented by concepts other than personifications, human activities, landscapes, or still lifes of flowers and/or fruits

    23O · zodiac; the twelve zodiacal signs together

    23P · weeks

    23Q · days of the week

    23R · day and night

    23S · the empires of the world

    23T · historical epochs

    23U · chronology

  24 · the heavens (celestial bodies)

    24A · sun as celestial body

    24B · moon as celestial body

    24C · planets (except the earth)

    24D · stars

    24E · astronomical phenomena

    24F · firmament, sky

    24G · spheres ~ heavens

  25 · earth, world as celestial body

    25A · maps, atlases

    25B · continents represented allegorically

    25C · geological phenomena

    25D · rock types; minerals and metals; soil types

    25E · geological-chronological division; historical geology; geological era

    25F · animals

    25G · plants; vegetation

    25H · landscapes

    25I · city-view, and landscape with man-made constructions

    25K · landscapes in the non-temperate zone, exotic landscapes

    25L · cities represented allegorically or symbolically

    25M · the Seven Wonders of the World

    25N · fictitious countries

  26 · meteorological phenomena

    26A · clouds

    26B · rain

    26C · winds

    26D · frost, freezing weather

    26E · thunderstorm

    26F · good and bad weather

    26G · mirage, 'fata morgana'

    26H · still other meteorological phenomena

  29 · surrealia, surrealistic representations

    29A · animals acting as human beings

    29B · plants behaving as human beings or animals

    29C · objects coming to life, e.g. puppets

    29D · natural forms in stones, wood, clouds, etc. interpreted as representations

3 · Human Being, Man in General

  31 · man in a general biological sense

    31A · the (nude) human figure; 'Corpo humano' (Ripa)

    31B · mind, spirit

    31C · spirit (or soul) versus body

    31D · human life and its ages (young, adult, old, etc.)

    31E · death of human being

    31F · symbols and personifications of Death

    31G · the soul

  32 · human types; peoples and nationalities

    32A · human types

    32B · human races; peoples; nationalities

    32C · scientific classification of human races

  33 · relations between individual persons

    33A · non-aggressive relationships

    33B · aggressive relationships, enmity, animosity

    33C · relations between the sexes

  34 · man and animal

    34A · taming and training of animals

    34B · domestic animals, kept in and outside the house

    34C · protection of animals

    34D · control and eradication of injurious animals

    34E · restraint of animals

    34F · man and (wild) animal

    34G · man disguised as animal

  35 · pastorals, Arcadian scenes

  36 · man and environment

    36A · environmental conservation, protection

    36B · environmental destruction

4 · Society, Civilization, Culture

  41 · material aspects of daily life

    41A · housing

    41B · heating and lighting

    41C · nutrition, nourishment

    41D · fashion, clothing

    41E · still life of miscellaneous objects

  42 · family, descendance

    42A · procreation, birth and (early) youth

    42B · parents with their children

    42C · period of adolescence

    42D · betrothal and marriage

    42E · burial rites

    42F · household management; housewife at work

    42G · family, relationship, descent

    42Z · exotic and non-monogamous family forms

  43 · recreation, amusement

    43A · festivities

    43B · recreation

    43C · sports, games and physical performances

    43D · other leisure time activities

  44 · state; law; political life

    44A · symbols of the state (in general)

    44B · government, the State; 'Politica', 'Auttorità o Potestà' (Ripa)

    44C · the citizen and his rights

    44D · administrative bodies

    44E · government services, public services

    44F · revolution, revolt

    44G · law and jurisprudence

  45 · warfare; military affairs

    45A · war and peace

    45B · the soldier; the soldier's life

    45C · (military) equipment and supply

    45D · insignia; division of armed forces; ranks

    45E · communication and transport

    45F · preparation for battle

    45G · defensive measures (military)

    45H · battle, fighting in general

    45I · after the battle

    45K · siege, position war

    45L · occupation ~ war

    45M · non-combatants ~ war

  46 · social and economic life, transport and communication

    46A · communal life

    46B · trade, commerce and finance

    46C · traffic and transport

    46D · press, journalism

    46E · post, telegraph and telephone; means of communication

  47 · crafts and industries

    47A · industrial structures

    47B · handicrafts and industries

    47C · industrial processes, handling of materials

    47D · machines; parts of machines; tools and appliances

    47E · organization of craft and industry

    47F · before and after production

    47G · building activities

    47H · textile industry and clothing industry

    47I · agriculture, cattle-breeding, horticulture, flowerculture, etc.

    47K · commercial fishery

    47L · shipbuilding industry

  48 · art

    48A · art and the public; styles and ornaments

    48B · artist (in general)

    48C · the arts; artists

  49 · education, science and learning

    49A · education

    49B · scholastic education, tuition

    49C · aspects of science in general

    49D · mathematics

    49E · science and technology

    49F · biology

    49G · medicine, medical science

    49H · social sciences

    49I · geography

    49K · historical disciplines; philology

    49L · writing and letters

    49M · production of printed matter, book-production

    49N · reading

5 · Abstract Ideas and Concepts

  51 · Generalities

    51A · Existence and Modes of Existence

    51B · Kinds of Relation

    51C · Causation

    51D · Order and Disorder

    51E · Hierarchical Order

    51F · Temporal Relationship

    51G · Some Characteristics of Matter

    51H · Quantity and Degree

    51I · Space

    51K · Aspects of Change

    51L · Types of Motion

    51M · Quality of Motion

  52 · Reasoning and Formation of Ideas

    52A · Intelligence and Intellectual Faculties

    52B · Reasoning

    52C · Understanding and Misunderstanding

    52D · Communication of Thought (qualitative aspects)

    52E · Communication of Thought (answer and question)

  53 · Will, Volition

    53A · Characteristics of Will

    53B · Acts of the Will

    53C · Authority and Subordination

    53D · Intersocial Volition

  54 · Process of Action

    54A · State of Being while Doing

    54B · Means and Characteristics of Means

    54C · Intention, Purpose, Aim

    54D · Procedure

    54E · Reciprocal Action

    54F · Fortune and Misfortune

  55 · Property

    55A · Acquisition and Loss

    55B · Possession

    55C · Use of Property

  56 · Emotion

    56A · Feeling

    56B · Joy and Sorrow

    56C · Aesthetic Sense

    56D · Hope and Fear

    56E · Anger and Meekness

    56F · Desire and Aversion

  57 · Morality

    57A · Good and Bad Behaviour, Moral Qualities

    57B · Judgment of Conduct

  58 · Creation

    58A · Creation and Destruction

    58B · Vitality and Mortality

  59 · Aspects of Social Conduct

    59A · Man ~ Community

    59B · Social Position

    59C · Justice and Injustice

6 · History

  61 · historical events and situations; historical persons

    61A · historical events and situations

    61B · historical persons (portraits and scenes from the life)

    61C · proper names of plants and animals

    61D · geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc.

    61E · names of cities and villages

    61F · names of historical buildings, sites, streets, etc.

    61G · names of artefacts and man-made objects

    61H · names of organizations, companies, trade unions, etc.

    61I · names of historical events and situations

    61K · (other) historical names

  62 · visions of the future

7 · Bible

  71 · Old Testament

    71A · Genesis from the creation to the expulsion from paradise, and later years of Adam and Eve

    71B · Genesis from the descendants of Cain and Seth to Abraham

    71C · Genesis: the patriarchs

    71D · Genesis: the story of Joseph

    71E · Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua: from the bondage of the Israelites in Egypt to their settlement in Canaan

    71F · the time of the Judges

    71G · story of Saul

    71H · story of David

    71I · story of Solomon

    71K · division of the Kingdom, and story of Israel, the Northern Kingdom

    71L · the divided kingdom: story of the Southern Kingdom (Judah)

    71M · story of Elijah (Elias)

    71N · story of Elisha (Eliseus)

    71O · prophets (before and during the Babylonian Captivity)

    71P · the story of the prophet Daniel; his visions and prophecies

    71Q · the story of Esther

    71R · the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esdras

    71S · prophets (after the Babylonian Captivity)

    71T · the book of Tobit

    71U · the book of Judith

    71V · the book of Jonah

    71W · the book of Job

    71X · the lyric books: Psalms and Song of Solomon

    71Y · the books of Wisdom

    71Z · (books of the) Maccabees

  72 · typological juxtapositions and compositions

    72A · typological juxtapositions

    72B · comprehensive typological compositions

  73 · New Testament

    73A · (scenes from the life of) John the Baptist and Mary

    73B · birth and youth of Christ

    73C · public life of Christ: from his baptism until the Passion

    73D · Passion of Christ

    73E · events from Resurrection to Pentecost (Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20-21; Acts 1:3-11); Mary's and Joseph's death

    73F · lives and acts of the apostles of Christ; epistles

    73G · the Revelation of John, the Apocalypse

8 · Literature

  81 · literary cycles

    81A · Arthurian legend : Use 81(ARTHURIAN LEGEND)

    81B · 'Nibelungenlied' : Use 81(NIBELUNGENLIED)

    81C · Dante, 'Divina Commedia' : Use 83(DANTE, Divina Commedia)

    81D · Boccaccio, 'Decameron' : Use 83(BOCCACCIO, Decamerone)

    81E · Ariosto, 'Orlando Furioso' : Use 83(ARIOSTO, Orlando Furioso)

    81F · Tasso, 'Gerusalemme Liberata' : Use 83(TASSO, Gerusalemme Liberata)

    81G · 'The Poems of Ossian' : Use 83(MACPHERSON, Poems of Ossian)

    81H · other cycles : Use 81(...)

  82 · literary characters and objects

    82A · names of literary characters

    82B · names of fictional animals, plants, objects, etc.

  83 · specific works of literature

  84 · tales and fairy tales

  85 · fables

    85A · fables of Aesop : Use 85(...)

    85B · fables of Lafontaine : Use 85(...)

    85C · other fables : Use 85(...)

  86 · proverbs, sayings, etc.

9 · Classical Mythology and Ancient History

  91 · myths about creation: cosmogony, theogony, and the origin of man

    91A · genesis of the universe ~ classical mythology

    91B · offspring of Uranus and Gaea (Titans, Cyclopes, Centimani)

    91C · the battles (of Titans, Giants, Typhon, Aloeids) with the gods

    91D · division of the universe (among Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto)

    91E · origin of man

  92 · gods ~ classical mythology

    92A · the Olympian gods together: Jupiter, Juno, Neptune, Ceres, Apollo, Diana, Mars, Venus, Mercury, Minerva, Vulcan, Vesta (or Bacchus)

    92B · the great gods of Heaven, and their train

    92C · the great goddesses of Heaven, and their train

    92D · lesser divinities of Heaven ~ serving and attendant environment

    92E · lesser divinities of Heaven ~ phenomena of air and sky

    92F · lesser divinities of Heaven ~ birth and healing

    92G · lesser divinities of Heaven ~ destiny, fate, adversity

    92H · gods of the waters: Neptune and his environment

    92I · gods of the waters: the older dynasty (first series): offspring of Pontus and the monsters of the sea

    92K · gods of the waters: the older dynasty (second series): children of Oceanus, river and small water deities

    92L · gods of the earth and fertility ~ life in mountains and woods

    92M · gods of the earth and fertility ~ agriculture

    92N · gods of the underworld

  93 · meetings and dwellings of the gods

    93A · meetings of the gods

    93B · Olympus

    93C · Parnassus, sacred to Apollo Musagetes

    93D · Helicon, sacred to the Muses

    93E · Hades, the Underworld

    93F · the Garden of the Hesperides

    93G · House of Sleep: a gloomy cave through which runs the river Lethe; possibly with two gates, one of ivory through which deceptive dreams issue, and one of horn through which true dreams issue

    93H · cave of winds

    93I · other dwellings of the gods

  94 · the Greek heroic legends (I)

    94A · the story of the Argonauts: the quest for the Golden Fleece

    94B · the Theban wars: the Seven against Thebes and the Epigoni

    94C · the Trojan war (94C - 94H)

    94D · the Trojan war: the journey to Troy

    94E · the Trojan war: the arrival and the first nine years

    94F · the tenth year of the Trojan war (part I); the wrath of Achilles: from the quarrel about Briseis to the death of Patroclus

    94G · the tenth year of the Trojan war (part II): Achilles back to war; his last deeds and his death

    94H · last months of the siege and the fall of Troy

    94I · adventures of the Greeks after the fall of Troy: the wanderings of Ulysses (Homer, Odyssey)

    94K · adventures of the Greeks after the fall of Troy: the return of other Greek heroes

    94L · (story of) Hercules (Heracles)

    94M · (story of) Theseus

    94N · (story of) Meleager

    94O · (story of) Orpheus

    94P · (story of) Perseus

    94Q · (story of) Orion

    94R · (story of) the Dioscuri: Castor (the horse-tamer) and Pollux (the boxer)

    94S · (story of) Bellerophon

    94T · (story of) Oedipus

  95 · the Greek heroic legends (II)

    95A · the Greek heroic legends (II): heroes

    95B · the Greek heroic legends (II): heroines

  96 · Roman gods and legends

    96A · Roman deities, and foreign deities included in the classical Pantheon

    96B · the story of Aeneas' wanderings to Italy (Virgil, Aeneid)

    96C · heroes, male characters from the legendary origins of Rome

    96D · heroines, female characters from the legendary origins of Rome

  97 · metamorphoses ~ classical mythology

    97A · metamorphoses of male persons into trees

    97B · metamorphoses of male persons into plants and flowers

    97C · metamorphoses of male persons into mammals

    97D · metamorphoses of male persons into birds

    97E · metamorphoses of male persons into (fabulous) animals

    97F · metamorphoses of male persons into stone

    97G · metamorphoses of male persons into stars and constellations

    97H · metamorphoses of male persons into water, air, or other elements

    97I · metamorphoses into islands

    97K · metamorphoses ~ sex

    97L · metamorphoses ~ age

    97M · metamorphoses into various forms at will

    97N · metamorphoses of (fabulous) animals

    97O · metamorphoses of objects, plants and flowers

  98 · classical history

    98A · events and situations from classical history

    98B · male persons from classical history

    98C · female persons from classical history