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The Print: History, Theory, and Practice   Tags: catalogues raisonnes, conservation, prints, techniques  

Last Updated: Oct 26, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Reference Sources for Artist Bibliography Print Page

Reference Sources on Artists: Bibliographies, Dictionaries, and Directories


Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon: Bio-bibliographischer Index A–Z = The Artists of the World : Bio-bibliographical Index = Encyclopédie Universelle des Artistes: Index Bio-bibliographique = Enciclopedia Universale degli Artisti: Indice Bio-bibliografico = Enciclopedia Universal de los Artistas: Indice Bio-bibliográfico.  Munich:  K. G. Saur, 1999– .

Index to biographical encyclopedias and dictionaries on artists.  Entries include artist's name, birth and death dates where known, nationality, and references to entries in biographical sources listed in the front of each volume.  The most comprehensive and wide-ranging index to artistic biography available.

Clark Reference  N40 A44b vols. 1–10 (on counter)


Mason, Lauris, ed.  Old Master Print References: A Selected Bibliography.  White Plains, NY:  Kraus International Publications, 1986.

References to the work of 900+ Old Master printmakers.  Citations include catalogs raisonnés, checklists, articles in periodicals, listings in multivolume indices, and museum, dealer, and exhibition catalogs, from earliest published work to 1984.  Entries include the artist's name and birth and death dates, followed by citations organized by publication date.  For each foreign title, an English translation is given.

Clark Reference  ZNE485 M38o


Mason, Lauris, and Joan Ludman.  Print Reference Sources: A Selected Bibliography, 18th–20th Centuries, 2nd ed.  Millwood, NY:  KTO Press, 1979.

Provides bibliographical references on printmakers of the 18th through the 20th centuries.  Printmakers are listed alphabetically; citations for each are listed chronologically.  For each artist, birth and death dates where known (and if not known, the century in which the artist lived) are given.  Citations include catalogs raisonnés, oeuvre-catalogs, museum and dealer publications, and checklists and essays from books and periodicals. Some references to unpublished material are also included, with the title and projected publication date.  In cases where information about an artist is scarce, references include listings in group exhibitions, general books, and articles.  Some publications are rare and difficult to locate.

Clark Reference  ZNE485 M38 1979


Print Council of AmericaThe Print Council Index to Oeuvre-Catalogues of Prints by European and American Artists.

Online version of The Print Council Index to Oeuvre-Catalogues of Prints by European and American Artists by Timothy A. Riggs (Clark Reference  ZNE485 R58), expanded and brought up-to-date by Lauren B. Hewes and Nicole Simpson. Bibliography of oeuvre-catalogs, defined as any print listing of an artist's total output, or some clearly defined section of that output.  The database now contains entries for European and American prints, print publishers, drawings, and photographs; and Japanese prints and photographs. Publications on a given artist or publisher are displayed chronologically by publication date, from earliest to most recent.  Searchable by artist's last name or publisher whose work is being cataloged; click "Notes" for instructions on searching artists known by dates, nicknames, or monograms. 

Online resource



Tips for finding catalogues raisonnes

The works listed above are comprehensive but not all artists are included in them; contemporary artists, in particular, may not have a formal published catalogue raisonné.  

Use WorldCat and/or highly respected art library catalogs (such as the Met, the Getty, the National Gallery, or even, an international union catalog) to search for catalogues raisonnés. In many cases, works may be cataloged with the subject heading catalogues raisonnés, and any search of WorldCat or a library catalog could start there.

Not all publications of an artist's oeuvre will be called a catalogue raisonné, and not all will have the catalogues raisonnés subject heading.  Try searching (by keyword, enclosing phrases in quotation marks, e.g. "oeuvre complet") for such terms as:

  • complete works (or complete paintings, drawings, graphic work, etc)
  • oeuvre complet
  • oeuvre catalogue
  • gesamtwerk
  • werkverzeichnis
  • catalogo razonado
  • catalogo completo
  • opera completa

In the case of contemporary artists try looking for exhibition catalogs, which often make heroic attempts to list an artist's works and exhibition history as well as a bibliography of reviews, articles, and other publications.

In addition, contemporary artists often create their own websites, which include galleries of the artist's work that (if complete) can function as online catalogues raisonnés.


Toyokuni Utagawa, Scene from a Kabuki Play (Actor Making Sashimi)

Toyokuni Utagawa.  Scene from a Kabuki Play (Actor Making Sashimi)

Color woodcut, 1800-1864.

Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Mass.


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