The most comprehensive source of information on Christian iconography
This online edition of the LCI combines the valuable content of the unique iconographical reference work with the possibilities of the Digital Humanities: links to other databases and sources, connections to millions of images, and Google Translate support for English, French, and Italian
The Lexikon der christlichen Ikonographie - Lexicon of Christian Iconography (LCI) is an eight-volume iconographical reference work on motifs of Christian tradition prepared by Kirschbaum and his successors. Volumes 1-4 cover general iconographic terms, giving the context of individual subjects and themes. Volumes 5-8 cover the iconography of saints. In addition to the iconography of a motif or saint, the articles list the most important sources, often a short biography and a short list of the most important research literature. Illustrations represent essential types of the respective picture object. Although the first volume of the LCI was published in 1968 and the eighth in 1976 it remains the standard work in German to this day and has been reissued several times unchanged. The new Brill online publication combines the valuable content with the advantages of digitization.
The digital edition A completely revised edition of the LCI’s content and an English translation would have taken years to produce. More importantly perhaps, a complete overhaul of its content would have disconnected the lexicon from the thousands of references in scholarly literature pointing to the LCI by volume and column number. Hence, we decided to produce the first digital edition of the LCI in a more cautious manner.
The first step towards a digital edition had to be to improve the ease-of-use of the lexicon, while preserving the original layout and content of the lemmata and the articles. To facilitate navigation, the pages have been digitized, while the lemmata and the full text of the eight volumes have been made browsable and searchable. Because Google translate has been incorporated in the database, the German language text can easily be translated in English, French, Italian and Dutch. Each lemma is now provided with an Iconclass notation and directly linked to Brill’s Arkyves database, a treasure trove of images to illustrate the various motifs and themes. Linking to other databases, either in Open Access or subscription based, is a work in progress.
Special Features - Full text searchable in German
- The Iconclass encoding automatically added more than 100,000 keywords in German, English, French, Italian and Portuguese, a first but important step towards multilingual accessibility
- Page overview of all 2840 pages in the LCI in one giant zoomable and clickable Metabotnik image
- Lemma list in German (Concordances in English, French and Italian forthcoming)
- Because Google Translate is incorporated in LCI, English, French, Italian and Dutch versions of the original German are automatically provided
- References are clickable and offer the opportunity to jump to the relevant page in the LCI
- Searchable by Iconclass codes
- Most black and white images in the original Lexicon now available in full color
- Direct link with Arkyves, containing more than 1 million images (full access for Arkyves subscribers only)
- Direct link to Index of Medieval Art (Princeton University)
Hans Brandhorst, art historian (Leiden University), has published on illuminated manuscripts, emblems and devices, iconography and classification, and digital humanities. Editor of the Iconclass system and Arkyves.