Useful links

Here are some useful links for further exploration.

Online Web Galleries - General.  These sites are wide ranging and not tied to a particular era or location.

Web Gallery of Art -  This website, based in Hungary, is the most comprehensive site I have found for the art of the Renaissance through the first part of the nineteenth century.  Although it covers the period 1000 - 1900 its strengths lie in the periods mentioned.  Its section for medieval art is slowly improving as well.  It offers a database, a glossary of terms related to art (technique, subject, descriptive terms, etc.), artist biographies and a bibliography. 

The Google Art Project -  This site offers incredibly detailed digital images of a selection of works from a selection of museums around the world.  Not comprehensive by any means, but a truly in depth look at some of the world's greatest works of art.

The Art Renewal Center Online Museum -  This site focuses on what can be described as "academic art" and is particularly strong in the works of nineteenth-century artists. 

Biblical Art on the WWW -  This site is useful for images which derive from Biblical passages and events.  It appears to be Protestant in orientation, so is not useful for non-Biblical images, such as saints lives/legends (except for those mentioned in the Bible) or events in Church History after the mid-first century AD.

Joconde -  This site includes materials from all the museums under the auspices of the French government.  This greatly simplifies searching for images that are currently located in a French museum.  Only available in French.

Images de l'art -  This is a website of the Reunion des musees nationaux and the Grand Palais des Champs Elysee.  To some extent it covers the same material as Joconde, but the pictures are often higher quality.  However, the selection of museums is not as large as Joconde's.  It can be accessed in either French or English.

Bildindex der Kuenst und Architectur -|home  This site is not for the faint of heart, but it is extremely useful nonetheless.  It is a very detailed index of images, primarily from Central Europe, and mostly in black and white, but these are usually underrepresented on other sites.  It is in German and there is no English site.

Online Web Galleries - Specific.  These sites are tied to one specific location (museum or country) or art form (e.g., manuscripts).  Many other similar institutions have similar sites, but these are the most comprehensive for the subject matter covered on this blog.


Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York -  My neighborhood museum and one of the greatest in the world.  You can browse or search the collection database and the exhibition database.

The Louvre, Paris -  One of the world's great museums.  You can search the database of works.  Available in French and English.  This link is to the English version.

The Prado, Madrid -  Another of the world's great museums, also with a searchable database of the collection.  Available in Spanish and English. This link is to the English version.

The National Gallery, London -  Another of the world's great museums, though the collection is limited to paintings only, also with a searchable database of the collection.

The Victoria and Albert Museum, London -  The V&A houses all the other things that the National Gallery doesn't, in addition to a paintings collection that includes the Raphael Cartoons.

The Vatican Museums, Vatican City State -
The Vatican Museums are among the greatest in the world, but up till now the website has been more difficult to use than some others.  Although still very limited, a new and newly organized website has debuted (as of January 2017).  One hopes that this means that at last the vast collection, which extends back to the early middle ages and on, through excavation, to the height of the Roman Empire and forward into the entire world will soon be relatively freely available.  An English version is available.

The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam -  Lots of resources here on the site for the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and it's in English!  When searching use the "Rijkstudio" tab and choose to "Search in Rijkstudio" for the best results.

The British Museum, London -  Not the best site if you are searching for a painting, but it makes up for this by being particularly good if you are looking for something that is a print or cultural artifact.

The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg - One of the world's great collections of paintings and easy to use, in English.

Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan -  The Italian museums are just beginning to offer their holdings on the internet.  One that has beaten the pack (and done an excellent job) is the Brera in Milan.  And, it can be viewed in English.

Gemäldegalerie, Berlin - Like the Italians, the Germans are just beginning to make their holdings available online.  The Berlin Staatlichen museums have recently launched and  can be accessed at  You can view the website in English, but be aware that you may have to try several ways of searching until you find what you are looking for, even in English.

Libraries - Online access to manuscript collections

The Pierpont Morgan Library -  One of the great manuscript collections of the United States.  Has a searchable database of its collections.  The Morgan also hosts interesting temporary exhibitions. 

The British Library -  One of the great collections of Europe.  Has a searchable database.

Bibliotheque nationale de France, Manuscript Collection-
The Bibliotheque nationale de France has one of the world's greatest collections of manuscripts.  Its searchable database, called Mandragore, lists most of them and gives access to the entire manuscript, if photos are available.

Koninklijk Bibliotheek -  The Royal Library of the Netherlands site incliudes a searchable database for illuminated manuscripts. 

Melozzo da Forli, Foundation
of the Vatican Library by Sixtus V
Italian, 1477
Vatican City, Pinacoteca
The Vatican Library -  The vast resources of the Vatican Library, formally established by Sixtus V in 1475, but with holdings substantially dating back into the fourth century, are being digitized.  As of June 2016 the works that have been digitized so far are accessible online.  There's a lot of material.  However, the search engine is not very helpful for finding images.  At this point it is better for accessing images if you already know the catalogue number of the manuscript that contains it.  One hopes that in future subject searches for images will be added to the search criteria. Nonetheless, getting access to this huge and important store of manuscripts and books in what amounts to their original home is an enormous privilege and a huge assist to scholarly research of many kinds.

Biblioteca Nacional de Espana has recently launched an impressive website for its manuscript holdings.  The site can be navigated in multiple languages.  It can be accessed at

The Bayerisches Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library), Munich - has two websites, one that gives access the entire library and which can be difficult to use and one which offers access to already selected manuscripts.  But these are some of the rarest and most beautiful volumes produced during the middle ages, especially during the Carolingian and Ottonian periods.  This site at  is entirely in German.  There is no English site.


The Vatican -  Access to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as well as to the Holy Bible (NAV), the Code of Canon Law and the documents of Vatican Council II.  Other links on the Vatican website give access to the writings of recent Popes, liturgical information, news items, videos and other information about the Catholic Church. 

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops -  Information about Prayer and Worship, Catholic Beliefs, daily Mass readings and online access to the Holy Bible (NAV), as well as much else.

New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia website - A useful source for older material now in the public domain.  Offers the entire text of the 1913 edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia, a useful resource for unchanging material.  It should be used with care, however, as its references to "current" practice are to 1913, not the present.  The site also includes a translation of the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas dating from 1920 and much material from the Church Fathers in older translations.  It also offers an edition of the Bible in which the English translation is shown in comparison with the original Greek and the Latin Vulgate.


Internet History Sourcebooks -  A useful collection of source texts for different historical periods:  Medieval, Early Modern, etc.