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. 

Art in the Christian Tradition - This is a database operated by Vanderbilt University Divinity Library and it provides a useful search tool for Biblical subjects.
One can search for images by entering the Biblical passage number (Scriptural reference).  This can be particularly helpful for some of the less well illustrated passages.  However, it does have some limitations, one of which is a relatively small number of stored images.  

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.  Recently (2022) revised and this function replaced by a new site called POP (see below).

POP  The Joconde website is still available, but its content has changed radically and seems unhelpful for image research.  The new site that seems to have replaced this function is called POP (really) and seems to function in the same way as the old Joconde site did. 

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 slowly 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 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.

Alte Pinakothek, Munich - Another great German museum that has put its collection online.  You can access it in English, but as with all the European museums, this may limit your success.

Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The great storehouse of the Habsburg dynasty collections.  Once again, I recommend searching in German if you are able to, although an English language option is available.

Le Opere delle Galleries degli Uffizi, Florence - Finally the Uffizi have released a website that can actually be useful.  This may not include every item in their holdings, but the pictures are of good quality and without the watermarks that made it predecessor unusable.  Bravo Florence!

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.  For best quality pictures, however, I suggest that you search a topic on Mandragore and then use the shelfmark of the item to research at the better quality Gallica site which allows examination of images in fantastic detail.

Koninklijk Bibliotheek -  The Royal Library of the Netherlands site includes 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 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.  However, 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.

Updated August 2022