Doing Research in Art History

Learn about the core resources in Art History research, and how to find and use them at Williams.

What is a catalogue raisonné?

catalogue raisonné [French, 'reasoned catalogue'] the complete published catalogue of an artist's work. Such catalogues, for example Paul-André Lemoisne's four-volume Degas et son oeuvre ('Degas and his work'), published in Paris, 1946–9, are normally regarded as standard publications on the subject and are often referred to in abbreviated form. Degas's famous portrait of Diego Martelli (National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh), for example, would be 'Lemoisne no. 519'.

- from The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms Oxford Art Online

What can I find in a catalogue raisonné?

In addition to a complete list of the artist's works, the catalog may include the following information about the works listed:

  • Title and title variations
  • Dimension/Size
  • Date of the work
  • Medium
  • Current location/owner at time of publication
  • Provenance (history of ownership)
  • Exhibition history
  • Condition of the work
  • Bibliography/Literature that discusses the work
  • Essay(s) on the artist
  • Critical assessments and remarks
  • Full description of the work
  • Signatures, Inscriptions and Monograms of the artist
  • Reproduction of each work
  • List of works attributed, lost, destroyed and fakes
  • Catalog number

- from The New York Public Library

How can I find a catalogue raisonné?

Start by:

Then consult:

Or search: