How to use this site

Use the "Browse & Search" tab in the main navigation bar (on the top of all pages) to explore the database. This view has sidebar menus on the left side of the page that allow you to browse cities & sites, and to browse images by either creator/artist or collection. These views provide intuitive options for exploring the database. There is also an Advanced Image Search option which can be used to perform targeted searches for terms in specific fields in the Image records. Once you have begun exploring the site, a convenient "Return to" menu is provided that will take you back to the last viewed city, site, creator/artist, collection, or image, or to your most recent Image search results.

In the Advanced Image Search, there are checkboxes for many criteria, such as the type of site, type of image (drawing, fresco, mosaic, painting, etc.), the period of creation, and the nationality of the creator. It is also possible to search other fields, such as the description, analysis, notes, or creator name fields, using free text entries. Users can search on multiple terms within a field, and multiple fields, simultaneously to increase the specificity of a query. To optimize your searching , it will be useful to browse some Image records and become familiar with the type of information each of these fields contains; for example, the "Location, Monument" field identifies the Image first by place name (generally city), then by site.

Image records can also be searched by entering descriptive terms or other keywords in the search box at the top of each page (the "Quick Image Search"). This is a non-targeted search, similar to how search engines work on the web. Some examples of terms would be "cathedral", "arsenal", "bridge", creator name or nationality, medium, century (must be formatted like "16th"; the word "century" is unnecessary). Boolean operators (and/+, or, not/-, quotation marks) are supported, though both "and" and "or" operators cannot be used in the same request. Searches are not case-sensitive, and can include multiple terms. Below are some examples of the use of these operators:

To find: Use this:
Records with the word tower tower
Records with either tower or clock tower clock (or: tower or clock)
Records with both tower and clock tower and clock (or: tower + clock)
Records with tower but not clock tower not clock (or: tower -clock)
Records with the phrase "clock tower" "clock tower"

The site is extensively cross-linked to further facilitate exploration and research. For example, Image record views provide links to their related Site, Creator/Artist, and Collection views.

Links to search results via Google Search, Google Books, and Google Images are included for many records to provide additional information. We also include direct links to images on the collection's web site where possible. Another extremely useful resource for further research is the Kubikat catalogue1. Note that when using these independent resources, it may be useful to utilize Italian place names for sites when they differ from English (e.g., Napoli instead of Naples).


Some of the materials on this site are protected by copyright. To facilitate research and scholarship we have developed these guidelines for copyright and reuse of the three main content groups on this site - images, metadata, and other website content. In general, you are free to use any of the metadata provided on this site as well any of the website content, subject to a few stipulations about attribution and noncommercial use. For the images themselves, if any copyright exists, it is not held by us. If you seek to use an image that requires permission from the copy right owner, please contact the institution that holds the original, listed in the metadata for each image.

1Kubikat is the online catalogue of the following institutions:

  • The Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence, Max-Planck-Institut (
  • The Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich (, funded by the Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Bildung und Kultus, Wissenschaft und Kunst
  • Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte / Centre allemand d'histoire de l'art in Paris (, funded by Max Weber Stiftung - Foundation of German Humanities Institutes Abroad
  • Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte in Rome (