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Lexikon der christlichen Ikonographie Online


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Adding flexibility, user-friendliness, and multilinguality to Kirschbaum's reference work

Hrsg. v. Hans Brandhorst


Inhalt :: Content

Online-Service mit Zugang zum "Lexikon der christlichen Ikonographie" (LCI), begr. v. Engelbert Kirschbaum und hrsg. v. Wolfgang Braunfels. Das von 1968 bis 1976 in 8 Bänden veröffentlichte kunsthistorische Standardwerk stellt ikonographische Motive der christlichen Kunst von der Frühzeit bis zum Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts in lexikalischer Form dar und führt in ikonologische Zusammenhänge einzelner Motive ein. Die Einzelartikel bieten eine Beschreibung des jeweiligen Bildthemas, verzeichnen die wichtigsten Quellen und die Forschungsliteratur. Bei Personen wird zudem eine kurze Biographie geboten.

Die Online-Ausgabe bietet recherchierbare Lemmata und sämtliche Artikel im Originallayout mit durchsuchbarem Volltext. Jedes Lemma ist mit einer mehrsprachigen Iconclass-Notation versehen und direkt mit der Datenbank Arkyves verknüpft, die über 1 Million Bilder zur Illustration der verschiedenen Motive und Themen bietet, sowie mit dem Index of Medieval Art.

Lexikon der christlichen Ikonographie Online

Verlag :: Publisher

Brill Academic Publishers

Preis :: Price

Preise auf Anfrage / Prices on request

Das Angebot richtet sich nicht an Verbraucher i. S. d. § 13 BGB und Letztverbraucher i. S. d. PAngV.

Bestellnummer bei digento :: digento order number


Verlagsinformation :: Publisher's information

This online edition of the LCI combines the valuable content of the unique iconographical reference work with the possibilities of the Digital Humanities: links to other databases and sources, connections to millions of images, and Google Translate support for English, French, and Italian.

The Lexikon der christlichen Ikonographie - Lexicon of Christian Iconography (LCI) is an eight-volume iconographical reference work on motifs of Christian tradition prepared by Kirschbaum and his successors. Volumes 1-4 cover general iconographic terms, giving the context of individual subjects and themes. Volumes 5-8 cover the iconography of saints. In addition to the iconography of a motif or saint, the articles list the most important sources, often a short biography and a short list of the most important research literature. Illustrations represent essential types of the respective picture object. Although the first volume of the LCI was published in 1968 and the eighth in 1976 it remains the standard work in German to this day and has been reissued several times unchanged. The new Brill online publication combines the valuable content with the advantages of digitization.

The digital edition

A completely revised edition of the LCI's content and an English translation would have taken years to produce. More importantly perhaps, a complete overhaul of its content would have disconnected the lexicon from the thousands of references in scholarly literature pointing to the LCI by volume and column number. Hence, we decided to produce the first digital edition of the LCI in a more cautious manner. The first step towards a digital edition had to be to improve the ease-of-use of the lexicon, while preserving the original layout and content of the lemmata and the articles. To facilitate navigation, the pages have been digitized, while the lemmata and the full text of the eight volumes have been made browsable and searchable. Because Google translate has been incorporated in the database, the German language text can easily be translated in English, French, Italian and Dutch. Each lemma is now provided with an Iconclass (note 1) notation and directly linked to Brill's Arkyves (note 2) database, a treasure trove of images to illustrate the various motifs and themes. Linking to other databases, either in Open Access or subscription based, is a work in progress.

Special Features:

  • Full text searchable in German
  • The Iconclass (note 1) encoding automatically added more than 100,000 keywords in German, English, French, Italian and Portuguese, a first but important step towards multilingual accessibility
  • Page overview of all 2840 pages in the LCI in one giant zoomable and clickable Metabotnik (note 3) image
  • Lemma list in German (Concordances in English, French and Italian forthcoming)
  • Because Google Translate is incorporated in LCI, English, French, Italian and Dutch versions of the original German are automatically provided.
  • References are clickable and offer the opportunity to jump to the relevant page in the LCI.
  • Searchable by Iconclass codes (note 1)
  • Most black and white images in the original Lexicon now available in full color.
  • Direct link with Arkyves, containing more than 1 million images (full access for Arkyves subscribers only)
  • Direct link to Index of Medieval Art (Princeton University)

New features in development:

  • English, French and Italian lemmalist
  • Direct link to other databases and typological sources
  • Direct link to English language Bible texts


  • Iconclass is a multilingual iconographic classification system used internationally by museums and other heritage institutes for describing and indexing images of art works, book illustrations, reproductions and photographs
  • Arkyves is both a unique database of images and texts and a meeting place for everyone who wants to study imagery and publish about it. www.brill/arko
  • A Metabotnik is a giant zoomable image composed of one to an almost limitless number of different images

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