Wikidata:WikiProject Visual arts/Item structure
People and organisations in the visual arts
Artist collectives - groups of artists working together
Typical occupations in the visual arts
Useful visual-arts-related bibliographical encyclopedias and their items of which some need a little care: Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon (Q15791802) (German; online with paywall; based on Thieme-Becker (Q1361256); daughters: Nürnberger Künstlerlexikon (Q21531823), Künstlerlexikon der Antike (Q1797179)); Neues allgemeines Künstler-Lexicon (Q15275409) (German; old); Benezit Dictionary of Artists (Q2929945) (French/English; online)
Those not visual-arts-related: Österreichisches Biographisches Lexikon 1815–1950 (Q25666) (German; online), Große Bayerische Biographische Enzyklopädie (Q41626459) (German; online)
Since visual arts are a field of human culture persons appear in different roles. Among other properties, instances of Wikidata property for authority control for artists (Q55653847), the following are for persons important especially in visual arts:
|ULAN ID||P245||External identifier||Union List of Artist Names: identifier from the Getty Union List of Artist Names||Vincent van Gogh <ULAN ID> 500115588||-|
|RKDartists ID||P650||External identifier||RKDartists: identifier in the RKDartists database (Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie)||Rembrandt <RKDartists ID> 66219||-|
|SIKART ID||P781||External identifier||SIKART: identifier in SIKART, a biographical dictionary and a database on visual art in Switzerland and Liechtenstein||Le Corbusier <SIKART ID> 4000293||-|
|Kunstindeks Danmark Artist ID||P1138||External identifier||Kunstindeks Danmark: unique artist identifier used by Kunstindeks Danmark||Asger Jorn <Kunstindeks Danmark Artist ID> 974||-|
|Art UK artist ID||P1367||External identifier||Art UK artist identifier: authority control identifier for artists (creators of publicly owned oil paintings in the UK)||Bernardino da Asola <Art UK artist ID> bernardino-da-asola-active-c-15251550||-|
|Sandrart.net person ID||P1422||External identifier||Sandrart.net: personal Identification number in Research Platform for Art and Cultural History of the 17th Century (Sandrart.net)||Alfonso V of Aragon <Sandrart.net person ID> 1206||-|
|British Museum person or institution ID||P1711||External identifier||British Museum person-institution thesaurus: identifier for a person or institution in the British Museum person-institution thesaurus||Rembrandt <British Museum person or institution ID> 43386||-|
|National Portrait Gallery (London) person ID||P1816||External identifier||identifier for sitters and artists represented in the National Portrait Gallery, London||Richard I. Aaron <National Portrait Gallery (London) person ID> mp78223||-|
|Web Gallery of Art ID||P1882||External identifier||Web Gallery of Art: identifier for an artist in the Web Gallery of Art||Agostino Busti <Web Gallery of Art ID> BAMBAIA||-|
|Cooper-Hewitt Person ID||P2011||External identifier||Cooper-Hewitt Person ID: identifier for a person or organization in the Cooper-Hewitt (Smithsonian Institution) catalogue||Sarah Cooper Hewitt <Cooper-Hewitt Person ID> 18049321||-|
|National Gallery of Victoria artist ID||P2041||External identifier||National Gallery of Victoria: identifier assigned to an artist by the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia||Ansel Adams <National Gallery of Victoria artist ID> 2372||-|
|Artsy artist ID||P2042||External identifier||Artsy: identifier at the Artsy website||Vincent van Gogh <Artsy artist ID> vincent-van-gogh||-|
|National Gallery of Art artist ID||P2252||External identifier||identifier assigned to an artist by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC||Gerrit Dou <National Gallery of Art artist ID> 1239||-|
|Musée d'Orsay artist ID||P2268||External identifier||Répertoire des artistes: numeric ID for an artist in the Répertoire des artistes documentation database of the Orsay Museum||Claude Monet <Musée d'Orsay artist ID> 18495||-|
|AGORHA person/institution ID||P2342||External identifier||AGORHA: identifier for a person or institution in the Agorha database (INHA)||Claude Monet <AGORHA person/institution ID> 112086||-|
|Stuttgart Database of Scientific Illustrators ID||P2349||External identifier||The Stuttgart Database of Scientific Illustrators 1450–1950: identifier for a person, in the University of Stuttgart's Database of Scientific Illustrators, 1450–1950||John Arrowsmith <Stuttgart Database of Scientific Illustrators ID> 1538||-|
|J. Paul Getty Museum artist id||P2432||External identifier||J. Paul Getty Museum: identifier assigned to an artist by the J. Paul Getty Museum||Théodore Géricault <J. Paul Getty Museum artist id> 493||-|
|Benezit ID||P2843||External identifier||Benezit Dictionary of Artists: identifier in Benezit Dictionary of Artists||Martinus Lengele <Benezit ID> B00107631||-|
|ECARTICO person ID||P2915||External identifier||ECARTICO: identifier for a person, in the ECARTICO biographical database of the Dutch and Flemish Golden Ages||Erick van den Weerelt <ECARTICO person ID> 8194||-|
|Auckland Art Gallery artist ID||P3372||External identifier||Auckland Art Gallery: identifier assigned to an artist by the Auckland Art Gallery in New Zealand||Don Binney <Auckland Art Gallery artist ID> 2601||-|
|Artnet artist ID||P3782||External identifier||Artnet: identifier of an artist in the Artnet database of auction results||Edward Davis <Artnet artist ID> edward-thompson-davis||-|
|Boijmans artist ID||P3888||External identifier||Collectie Boijmans Online: identifier for an artist in the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen||Richard Serra <Boijmans artist ID> 16313||-|
|Pinakothek artist ID||P4025||External identifier||identifier in the Pinakothek collection||Arnold Böcklin <Pinakothek artist ID> arnold-boecklin||-|
|Athenaeum person ID||P4145||External identifier||Athenaeum: artist id in the Athenaeum artworks website||Lucas Cranach the Elder <Athenaeum person ID> 3498||-|
|Finnish National Gallery artist ID||P4177||External identifier||identifier for people in the Finnish National Gallery||Helene Schjerfbeck <Finnish National Gallery artist ID> 76EF2D1D-802A-4D77-9732-17DCB9B55B5E||-|
|Commons Creator page||P1472||String||Commons Creator page: name of Commons Infobox template residing in "Creator" namespace on Wikimedia Commons||Stanley R. H. Rogers <Commons Creator page> Stanley R. H. Rogers||-|
- named as (P1810) -- to give the form of the artist's name that is preferred by the site
- number of works (P3740) -- for sites which also have examples of the artist's work (probably only sensible for sites that are complete or only slowly-growing)
Organisations that support the visual arts
Other collecting institutions
Works of visual art
Types of visual artworks
We maintain distinct items for
- types of physical artworks
- art disciplines
- the related profession
- a related group of artworks, including as a series
- Because these concepts are conceptually different. An artistic discipline is not a work of art; a work of art is not a profession.
- This conceptual difference is, among others, reflected in external art history related terminology sources like the Art and Architecture Thesaurus, which also maintains separate terms (paintings (visual works) vs painting (image-making))
- Therefore, using them in a wrong way would result in incorrect statements (e.g. Mona Lisa (Q12418) is NOT instance of (P31) the (abstract) art discipline art of painting (Q11629) - the correct statement is that Mona Lisa (Q12418) instance of (P31) painting (Q3305213))
Individual objects and parts
An object can be part of another object. Groups of artworks should be identified as such by a instance of (P31)-claim with one of the subclasses of group of works (Q17489659) as object. The members of the group should be identified as such by a part of (P361)- or part of the series (P179)-claim – currently both possibilities are used. For prints published in a another published work published in (P1433) should be used.
To refer to a part of an object a qualifier with applies to part (P518) is used. An item describing a part of an object is used as the value. If there is no item for the part and they are unambiguous, the items upper part (Q17525438), lower part (Q17525439), left part (Q17525441), right part (Q17525442) and middle (Q17525443); recto (Q9305022) and verso (Q9368452); obverse (Q257418) and reverse (Q1542661) are used as values of applies to part (P518). The number of parts can be stated with number of parts of this work (P2635) as in The Four Apostles (Q829270).
If there are items describing the parts of an object there is no common practice how to indicate the relative position of the parts to each other unfortunately.
No discussion has taken place on how to describe the relation of two-dimensional objects to their frames. Referring to images on Commons with frames is difficult since images get often cropped as the images in c:Category:Painting frames show.
There are some cases of items (and Wikipedia articles) for a part of an image of a visual artwork. It might need more consideration on how to model them. Examples are The Creation of Adam (Q500242) and Raphael's Cherubs (Q21993480).
Describing individual objects
|instance of (P31)||Item||that class of which this subject is a particular example and member||yes|
|creator (P170)||Item||maker of this creative work or other object (where no more specific property exists). Paintings with unknown painters, use "anonymous" (Q4233718) as value.||yes|
|creator's signature (P7457)||Commons media file||image of the artist's mark on the work that identifies their work||no|
|title (P1476)||Monolingual text||published title of a work, such as a newspaper article, a literary work, a website, or a performance work||no|
|inception (P571)||Point in time||date or point in time when the subject came into existence as defined||yes|
|depicts (P180)||Item||depicted entity (see also P921: main subject)||no|
|shown with features (P1354)||Item||secondary features depicted in a work. Use as qualifier for "depicts" (P180)||no|
|depicts Iconclass notation (P1257)||String||Iconclass code depicted in an artwork. For linking Iconclass codes with their corresponding artistic themes or concepts, use P1256 (Iconclass notation).||no|
|material used (P186)||Item||material the subject is made of or derived from||yes|
|fabrication method (P2079)||Item||method, process or technique used to grow, cook, weave, build, assemble, manufacture the item||no|
|height (P2048)||Quantity||vertical length of an entity||no|
|width (P2049)||Quantity||width of an object||no|
|thickness (P2610)||Quantity||extent from one surface to the opposite||no|
|commissioned by (P88)||Item||person or organization that commissioned this work||no|
|location of creation (P1071)||Item||place where the item was made; where applicable, location of final assembly|
|owned by (P127)||Item||owner of the subject||no|
|coordinates of the point of view (P1259)||Geographic coordinates||point from which the scene depicted by the element is seen (element can be a photo, a painting, etc.)||no|
|collection (P195)||Item||art, museum, archival, or bibliographic collection the subject is part of||no|
|inventory number (P217)||String||identifier for a physical object or a set of physical objects in a collection||no|
|catalog code (P528)||String||catalog name of an object, use with qualifier P972||no|
|significant event (P793)||Item||significant or notable events associated with the subject||no|
|location (P276)||Item||physical location of the item. For administrative entities, use P131. For distinct terrain features, use P706.||yes|
|coordinate location (P625)||Geographic coordinates||geocoordinates of the subject. For Earth, please note that only WGS84 coordinating system is supported at the moment||no|
|inscription (P1684)||Monolingual text||inscriptions, markings and signatures on an object||no|
|exhibition history (P608)||Item||exhibitions where the item is or was displayed||no|
|image (P18)||Commons media file||image of relevant illustration of the subject; if available, use more specific properties (sample: coat of arms image, locator map, flag image, signature image, logo image, collage image); only images which exist on Wikimedia Commons are acceptable||no|
|image with frame (P7420)||Commons media file||media file of painting or other 2D artwork with its frame or more of its surroundings included||no|
|image of backside (P7417)||Commons media file||image of reverse side of this "2D" object||no|
|genre (P136)||Item||creative work's genre or an artist's field of work (P101). Use main subject (P921) to relate creative works to their topic||no|
|movement (P135)||Item||literary, artistic, scientific or philosophical movement or scene associated with this person or work||no|
|main subject (P921)||Item||primary topic of a work (see also P180: depicts)||no|
|based on (P144)||Item||the work(s) used as the basis for subject item||no|
|inspired by (P941)||Item||work, human, place or event which inspired this creative work or fictional entity||no|
A generic list of properties for artworks (and architecture) can be found at WD:List of properties/Works#Art & architecture.
There are many properties to describe the dimensions of an object:
- For two-dimensional objects, like paintings or prints, height (P2048) and width (P2049) should be used to refer to the dimensions of the surface, e.g. to the canvas that holds the oil paint for an oil on canvas painting. There does not seem to be an established solution of how to refer to the dimensions of two-dimensional objects including their frames. On Q25334125 is used as a qualifier.
- For three-dimensional objects, like sculptures, height (P2048), width (P2049) and and horizontal depth (P5524) should be used to refer to three dimensions.
- For round objects, properties diameter (P2386), radius (P2120) and perimeter (P2547) could be added
- For sword (Q12791) and similar objects, properties length (P2043), width (P2049) and thickness (P2610) might be more appropriate
- For container (Q987767) and bowl (Q153988) like objects, property vertical depth (P4511) could be added
All of above properties can be accessed on Commons by files using c:template:Artwork with wikidata field linking it to the related item. See c:Category:Artworks with Wikidata item missing dimensions for images, with size information, linked to wikidata items, without.
Titles and labels
Generally the label of an item should hold the title of the object it describes if the object has one. For general instructions for labels see Help:Label. The title should be formed with help of the guidelines at en:Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Visual arts#Works of art, at least for English labels, also considering the Cultural Objects Name Authority (Q11409212) Editorial Guidelines, section 3.3 Titles and Names.
Many works don't have titles. This is the case especially for non-figurative, non-artistic and old objects. A case are archaeological finds. Here often short descriptive expression is used followed by a short form of the holding institution and its inventory number is used as a label. An example is ax head LACMA AC1999.243.1 (Q56600320).
Depicted subjects and iconography
The main properties for this are depicts (P180) and main subject (P921). For depicts (P180) one can use shown with features (P1354) qualifier. Also with the qualifier relative position within image (P2677) the relative position on two-dimensional objects can be given using percents of height and width of the object. Note that for models rather than sitters sitter (P2634) should be used.
Inscriptions can be given with inscription (P1684).
To assign an image on Commons to an object item image (P18) is used. Use the best image available on Commons! For two-dimensional works the image should depict the whole surface without the frame. The image file with the whole surface can then be used as a reference for relative position within image (P2677). Make sure to assign only one image per item since image (P18) has a single value constraint (as of 00:12, 28 April 2016 (UTC)).
In case of items related to group of objects, like artwork series (Q15709879) or polyptych (Q1278452), try to find a single image showing multiple objects, otherwise use image with an exemplar object. In case of two-sided objects like coins, Processional standard (Q2378522), etc., try to find a single image showing both sides or add two images with and qualifiers.
Use of creator (P170) in uncertain cases
If no distinguished instance of person (Q215627), organization (Q43229) or group of humans (Q16334295) is known as a value of creator (P170) then anonymous (Q4233718) should be used. The following qualifiers may be used to link the object to a distinguished instance related to its creator:
- workshop of (P1774): The object was probably created by students or employees of the artist in the same workshop, possibly with help of the named artist.
- follower of (P1775): The object is by unknown artists who work in the manner of the named artist.
- circle of (P1776): The object is by an unknown artist who lived in the same time as the named artist in a similar style, possibly a follower or someone who had contact with the named artist.
- manner of (P1777): The object is in similar style as the named artist, but not necessary from the same period.
- forgery after (P1778): The object is a forgery trying to appear to be the work of the named artist.
- possible creator (P1779): There is a bigger uncertainty about the creator of the object.
- school of (P1780): The object is by an unknown creator with a style influenced by the known artist or circle, active in the same period, but a student or follower.
- after a work by (P1877): The object was strongly inspired or copied by a work of the named artist.
If no distinguished instance is known but some qualities of the value of creator (P170) these should be added. For example:
See also Wikidata_talk:WikiProject_Visual_arts/Item_structure#Attribution_Qualifiers and Wikidata:Property_proposal/Attribution_Qualifier for an in-depth discussion comparing the above to CONA and CCO. --Vladimir Alexiev (talk) 09:46, 3 April 2020 (UTC)
Object history or provenance
Those properties are useful:
- significant event (P793) with those values:
- donated by (P1028)
- (date of disappearance (P746): Currently this property has person (Q215627) as its only domain, but extension is discussed.)
The location of an artwork can be described with location (P276). For objects in depots or generally not on display instances of museum storage (Q1191732) can be used like locations of the Bavarian State Painting Collections with works not on display (Q29343881) or Louvre storage (depot) (Q19059868). Cf. also the discussion Wikidata talk:WikiProject sum of all paintings/Archive/2016#Location.
Relations between objects
For the relations of groups of works or series see above § Individual objects and parts.
There are some properties to describe relations between works and objects, they have corresponding inverse properties or are themselves symmetric properties:
- based on (P144) ↔ derivative work (P4969)
- depicts (P180) ↔ depicted by (P1299)
- pendant of (P1639): symmetric property
- said to be the same as (P460): symmetric property
- different from (P1889): symmetric property
depicts (P180)/depicted by (P1299) can be used where a work depicts another object, for example for Archduke Leopold Wilhelm in his Gallery (Q19939106).
said to be the same as (P460) and different from (P1889) can be used to express a former belief that two objects were identical or different. This case emerges in particular where at least one of the subject was or is only known from other sources like texts. The properties should then be used with the applying qualifiers and sources. statement disputed by (P1310) and statement supported by (P3680) can be useful here.
(See also the CONA guidelines regarding “Related Works”.)
QualifiersQualifiers are additional bits of data that make a statement more informative or more accurate. Like the main part of the statement they are composed of a qualifier/value couple. Here are some properties that can be useful as qualifiers:
The context of the visual arts
Notable art exhibitions
- Item structure and to do list: WikiProject Visual Arts/Item structure/Art exhibitions
Art movement / Cultural movement / Architectural style / Art group ...
Wikidata contains many similar concepts that relate to movements, styles and other tendencies in the arts.
This may sound confusing. It's best to use common sense when distinguishing those. It is OK to use two (or more) concepts at the same time!
Please note: the Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) from the Getty, probably the most widely used art vocabulary in the world, has only one 'branch' to bring all these concepts together. It calls them broadly Styles and Periods and then styles, periods and cultures.
- An art movement (Q968159) mainly has effect in the (visual) arts, maybe also design and architecture.
- It is usually a broad movement in terms of place and time. Probably its artists didn't all know each other.
- An art movement is not a kind of 'club' or 'group with formal members - for that, we have art group (see below).
- Examples of typical art movements: Antwerp school (Q2107376) (which spans two centuries!), fauvism (Q166593), abstract expressionism (Q177725)
- Item structure and to do list: WikiProject Visual Arts/Item structure/Art movements.
- A cultural movement (Q2198855) is slightly broader, and also manifests itself in other art disciplines (literature, music...).
- Examples: Baroque (Q37853), Symbolism (Q164800)
- Item structure and to do list: WikiProject Visual Arts/Item structure/Cultural movements
- architectural style (Q32880) is mainly used to indicate the style of buildings in architecture.
- Examples: Postmodern architecture (Q595448), deconstructivism (Q238255)
- Item structure and to do list: WikiProject Visual Arts/Item structure/Architectural styles
- An art group (Q4502119) is a club or group of artists who share a common ideal.
- Usually, an art group has members and a founder. This is not the case for an art movement.
- Wikidata does not have a separate indicator (yet?) for a so-called 'school' of artists who are contemporaries and who work in the same style, so art group is used in that case too.
- Examples: The Blue Rider (Q117035), COBRA (Q212611)
- Item structure and to do list: WikiProject Visual Arts/Item structure/Art groups
- Many languages don't know a difference between art group and art collective
- An artist collective (Q1400264) is similar to an art group, but it especially indicates a group of artists who actually create artworks together.
- Examples: Art & Language (Q558276), Steina and Woody Vasulka (Q3482323)
- Item structure and to do list: WikiProject Visual Arts/Item structure/Artist collectives
- Many languages don't know a difference between art group and art collective
- art duo: currently in use: duo (Q10648343) for two artists working together
- An art colony (Q1558054) is a place where artists live and interact with each other
- Examples: Worpswede artist colony (Q479361)
- An art genre (Q1792379) classifies an artwork (or an artist) by its form or content. An art movement is more about the cultural influence and tradition of the artwork and can be visible in many art genres at once.
- Examples: portrait (Q134307), installation art (Q212431), funerary art (Q2083647)
- Item structure and to do list: WikiProject Visual Arts/Item structure/Art genres
Culture / period
- A culture (P2596) (such as Roman or Inca) is an artwork's affiliation with a particular ethno-cultural tradition, although the individual artist may be unknown.
- A time period (P2348) (such as the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt or the High Middle Ages) is an artwork's affiliation with a cultural-historical era, when it can best be dated by stylistic trends rather than a specific date.
- earliest date (P1319) and latest date (P1326) can be useful as qualifiers for specifying the range of possible dates assigned by art historians to a work. sourcing circumstances (P1480) can also be use for "circa" or similar terms.
- An intended public (P2360) is the target audience for a type of art that crosses cultures, such as Chinese export porcelain intended for the Western market.
- Wikidata:WikiProject Visual arts/Item structure/Art movements
- literary movement (Q3326717)
- cultural movement (Q2198855)
- music movement (Q12020884)
- painting movement (Q3326867)
- art style (Q1792644)
- form (Q5489026)
Linking to other websites
Links to Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects can be done through direct sitelinks and Commons category (P373). For links to other websites, you can use a lot of ID properties, instances of Wikidata property to identify artworks (Q44847669), some are here:
|Joconde work ID||P347||External identifier||Joconde: identifier in the Joconde database of the French Ministry of Culture||The Fife Player <Joconde work ID> 000PE003910||-|
|RKDimages ID||P350||External identifier||RKDimages: identifier per RKDimages of the Netherlands Institute for Art History||The Tiger Hunt <RKDimages ID> 198000||-|
|Atlas ID||P1212||External identifier||Atlas: identifier in the Atlas database of the Louvre Museum||Q15933804 <Atlas ID> 6261||-|
|Commons category||P373||String||Commons category: name of the Wikimedia Commons category containing files related to this item (without the prefix "Category:")||Mona Lisa <Commons category> Mona Lisa||-|
|described at URL||P973||URL||item is described at the following URL||Mona Lisa <described at URL> http://musee.louvre.fr/oal/joconde/indexFR.html||-|
described at URL (P973) should be used where an ID property doesn't exist.
Note that these properties may also be used to source the statements see § Providing sources.
Some statements do not really need a source (for instance that the Mona Lisa is a portrait or that its Joconde database ID is 000PE025604. However, in many cases, it is useful to provide references. See Help:Sources for more information.
- Cf. also Wikidata:WikiProject Visual arts/Questions#Items for single object parts!?
- Example for the use of part of (P361): Sunflowers (Q21948547); example for the use of part of the series (P179): Still Life: Vase with Five Sunflowers (Q11770758). As of 4 January 2015 there is an open discussion about the use of the two properties on Property talk:P179#"has part" inverse uses.
- Belly Amphora by the Andokides Painter (Q540716)#P170 uses everything (Q2165236), Attic bilingual vases and their painters (Q11455120) and Attic bilingual vases and their painters (Q11455120).
Cultural Objects Name Authority (Q11409212) Editorial Guidelines, section 184.108.40.206.5.3 List of Subject Extent terms might be taken as a guide for values to be created if needed.
- Cf. Property talk:P18.
- There was Wikidata:Property proposal/Study for which didn't have a clear outcome.