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Subject Guide for Art & Art History.


Key Subject Terms

Key terms

  • Most common:
    • Name of the figure + art (for example, David, King of Israel -- Art)
    • Noun (an object, concept, or collective noun) + in art (for example, Devil in art)
  • Other options:
    • symbolism
    • themes
    • motives
    • image
    • attributes
  • Note that neither iconography nor iconology is used in Library of Congress subject headings!

A Sample of Library of Congress Subject Headings Covering Iconography

Animals in art
Art and mythology
Art, Medieval --Themes, motives
Buddhist art and symbolism
Christian art and symbolism
Christian saints in art
Grotesque in art
Image (Theology)
Jesus Christ -- Passion -- Art
Jewish art and symbolism
Jews in art
John, the Apostle, Saint--Art
Mary, Blessed Virgin, Saint -- Annunciation--Art
Monsters in art
Painting -- Themes, motives
Patriotism in art
Signs and symbols in art
Symbolism in architecture
Symbolism in art -- Greece
Symbolism in art -- United States
Symbolism of colors
Vices in art


Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA) search terms

This resource has its own set of subject headings that differ considerably from those used by the Library of Congress. Here are the most common:

  • Iconography (not "art" or "in art" as for the Library of Congress)