Wikidata talk:WikiProject sum of all paintings

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Non-human creator[edit]

Here's a query that looks for non-human creators of paintings. I've fixed some of them, but there are about 100 left. Most are unknown values (maybe should be anonymous), some are redirects, some are firms or groups, some are DABs, and one is a street.

SELECT ?painting ?paintingLabel ?creator ?creatorLabel
  ?painting wdt:P31 wd:Q3305213 .
  ?painting wdt:P170 ?creator .
  #      not                          human
  filter not exists {?creator wdt:P31 wd:Q5 .} .
  #      not                          artist collective
  filter not exists {?creator wdt:P31 wd:Q1400264 .} .
  # anonymous is OK
  filter (?creator != wd:Q4233718) .
  SERVICE wikibase:label {
     bd:serviceParam wikibase:language "en" .} .
try it

Glrx (talk) 01:20, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

Cool! I repaired some, now still a collection of all kind of (semi-)anonymous variants and redirects. --Hannolans (talk) 14:31, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
Seems to be a subset of Wikidata:WikiProject sum of all paintings/Check creator? Multichill (talk) 16:59, 22 September 2017 (UTC)


I should have mentionned that much earlier, but I am not thrilled at all with the use of anonymous (Q4233718) in creator (P170). "Anonymous" usually implies that the creator in some way wished to remain unknown like in "anonymous letter". Sometimes, it just means that it was not signed, but we wouldn't use "anonymous" on Mona Lisa here, even though it is not signed. Here, we use "anonymous", we really just mean "unknown", so what not use the standard way provided by Wikibase for that, the "somevalue" special value ? Structurally, it is much sounder, as it does not require the ad hoc fudging on the common-sense semantic rule that the creator (P170) should point to a identifiable person or group of people.-Zolo (talk) 10:20, 24 September 2017 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Support I also often thought that. -- 10:46, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
This is for historic reasons. Most of the time in sources, the unknown artist is referred to as "anonymous". Many painters would have liked to sign their names, but were unable to do so because they had not paid their dues into the local Guild of St. Luke. Sometimes they later signed works after doing so, but mostly not. Anonymous does not mean "wishing to remain anonymous" when it comes to paintings. Jane023 (talk) 10:52, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
@Jane023: that seems to make sense, but does not really match how "anonymous" is used in Wikidata. Here "anonymous" is used for "unknown", not "unsigned". If the artist was not able to sign but historians know who she was, Wikidata will use name of the artist, not "anonymous". I sense that what you mention would be best expressed through a different property than creator (P170), though I am not sure how. -Zolo (talk) 17:22, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
True. You could propose some properties to narrow this down further (we already have quite a few qualifiers for anonymous), but in general, "anonymous" is more accurate than "unknown" if you compare what institutions and catalogs use. Jane023 (talk) 17:50, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
(The IP above was me logged out for any reason.) I just found the Getty Vocabulary Program also discussing the term (albeit in another situation), providing a point militating in favour of "unknown" if I get it right: “Unknown People […] Note this facet has variant label "anonymous" because some repositories use this term to indicate unknown people. Nevertheless, it's very different from Anonymous Masters.” ( Similar CDWA (sections "Anonymous creators" and "Unknown creators"). Cheers, --Marsupium (talk) 06:30, 27 September 2017 (UTC)
I would like to add for consideration that for legal issues on copyright there is a difference between unknown and anonymous. For anonymous works the copyright is 70 years after publication in Europe. For unknown authors it is not and a diligent search is required whether the publication was anonymous --Hannolans (talk) 12:00, 27 September 2017 (UTC)
So it seems anonymous has not one unambiguous meaning. "unknown" may be less frequently used for artworks, but semantically, it just seems to be the most appropriate term for what we need here. --Zolo (talk) 07:25, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
I think the decision shouldn't be in the end about the words "unknown" and "anonymous" (then we could discuss which label to chose for the item), but about the meaning of "unknown value" in this database – and I think this includes the meaning of anonymous (Q4233718) as we use it. So, yes, I think the proposed change is reasonable. --Marsupium (talk) 14:11, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

This discussion is strongly related to the one about "schools", e.g. "17th-century British School" as a genre. The (mis-)use of genre to more accurately describe an unknown creator might be an industry problem we also want to address somehow. I do think we need to find a way to model "pupil(s) or follower(s) of so-and-so" rather than naming each pupil or follower, when "studio of" is not possible (i.e. "so-and-so" died 20 years previously to the date of the painting). We already have "follower of" but this can just indicate people who made copies a few centuries after the fact. Sometimes we know a painting is of the period (forensic analysis) but just don't know more about where/who created it. My gut feeling is that we want all of this modelling on the creator property and not on the genre property. Jane023 (talk) 08:07, 29 September 2017 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Support for your gut feeling! --Marsupium (talk) 14:11, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

A "panel" is a group of people assembled to discuss a topic.[edit]

Why does this propose that "panel" should be described as a material for painting? Surely a panel—a group of people assembled to discuss a topic—is not a painting material. BD2412 (talk) 14:38, 6 October 2017 (UTC)

@BD2412: mixing up panel (Q21416136) and panel (Q1348059)? You're not really giving any context like where this is proposed. Multichill (talk) 13:44, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
See User talk:BD2412#Please stop adding panel painting to materials used. But I didn't understand it there either. --Marsupium (talk) 14:01, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
Okay, here is the problem in a nutshell. The Dutch Wiki has an article on the concept of the "panel", i.e. the material used in making a panel painting. English Wikipedia does not have a separate article on this topic, but covers it in a section of the article on "Panel painting". Apparently, because there is no English Wikipedia article specifically on the type of wood, when "panel" is used as a material in Wikidata, this calls the English Wikipedia disambiguation page, "Panel" - which is not relevant to paintings. I don't understand why Wikidata would provide any link at all if there is no correct link to provide (there is no English link in panel (Q1348059). The links provided for the three languages there are actually very inconsistent - the German article is about ceiling panels (not used for painting) and the Scots-Gaelic article is one line about both panels as construction material and as groups of experts, but not at all about painting - so there is no real benefit to anyone who isn't speaking Dutch to even have this Wikidata item. The entries are inaccurate, and it is not collecting different-language names for the same thing, but similar-sounding names for fairly different things. In the meantime, there is no way to link to the content in English Wikipedia that is relevant to panels as a painting material, because this is already dedicated to panel painting (Q55439). Incidentally, most languages cover the material under their articles on the kind of painting. BD2412 (talk) 15:14, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
Well I won't touch Gaelic but I made a new item for the German article here laminated panel (Q41703374). It's funny I have looked at panelling and other types of lumber materials before - it keeps coming back to haunt me. Jane023 (talk) 16:02, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
Is there a way to make the Wikidata item point to the section of the English Wikipedia article covering this topic? Since it is already covered there, it is unlikely that there will ever be a separate English Wikipedia article specifically about this topic. BD2412 (talk) 16:57, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
No, there isn't. You can read about that problem here: Wikidata:Requests for comment/Sitelinks with fragments. There is also a new RfC running about links to redirects that breaks the problem down into more parts. If you start looking at the possibilities it gets pretty confusing pretty quickly. Jane023 (talk) 19:29, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

Materials used[edit]

In response to the discussionabove I have created a listeria list of the materials currently used for paintings here Wikidata:WikiProject sum of all paintings/Material. I think it is pretty clear that most usage is for canvas, but I am not sure whether these should be changed to one item (currently most link to the woven fabric and a small group links to the painting surface "canvas"). Also we could probably do well to set up a proper hierarchy for panel paintings by panel composition as it is used in dendrochronology circles, if at all possible. Jane023 (talk) 11:22, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

one article, two paintings[edit]

Hi, I'm not sure if this question is in the right place. I'm trying to improve the article and Wikidata item/s for the Velázquez painting Kitchen Maid. The article is about both versions of the painting, one is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago and the other is at the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. The Wikidata item Q4274886 that corresponds to the article is solely about the painting in Chicago. So the question is, should I create another Wikidata item for the Dublin painting or add the information to the existing item? Thanks in advance MassiveEartha (talk) 14:32, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

Ok, so just noticed that the Dublin painting already has a Wikidata item Q11832323 with its own corresponding articles. The new questions is, how should the two articles be linked? Thanks again MassiveEartha (talk) 14:35, 20 October 2017 (UTC)