Commons:WikiProject Arts/Manual of Style/Categories

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Commons:WikiProject Arts/Manual of Style/Categories
Mantegna, Andrea — Camera degli Sposi · Inscription with Putti (mod.).jpg

Categories are currently the most popular way to explore subjects. Alternatives are gallery pages, search functions and software applications such as catscan.




Prints (Woodcuts, engravings, etchings)[edit]



  • Sort
    • name of the artist <last name> <first name>; title; museum (place,name); year/decade/century? unsolved




(e.g. mosaics, tapestries)

Pictogram voting info.svg 


Policies/Help pages: Commons:First steps/Sorting — external: en:Wikipedia:Manual of Style (visual arts)

Category content[edit]

Piece of art categories[edit]

There is no consent about the content of category pages. unsolved

Here is an example of a new approach: Category:Sébastien Bourdon -The Sacrifice of Iphigeneia - Orléans

There is no consent about the style of category pages. unsolved

Include the creator template? unsolved
Proposal: All individual artwork categories should include all the details (technique, collection, etc.) unsolved
  1. Category:Entombment of Christ by Caravaggio: include Category:Females looking down in art as in File:Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio - The Entombment (detail) - WGA04150.jpg?

Individual artwork[edit]

One artwork of a painter

Series of artwork[edit]

Example: Category:Eleanor of Toledo with her son Giovanni de' Medici by Angelo Bronzino (missing a description that this category covers several pieces of art)

Several pieces of a painter with a common motif ("Package category" Motifs by painters), may be misleading if not marked in the category text or in the category description.
Examples: Category:Madonnas by Raffaello SanzioCategory:Saint Jerome in his study by Marinus van ReymerswaleCategory:Eleanor of Toledo with her son Giovanni de' Medici by Angelo BronzinoCategory:Paintings of Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach the ElderCategory:Annunciation by Fra AngelicoCategory:Madonnas by Giovanni Bellini

Flat categories[edit]

Intentional hierarchy interferences (category names often include "...(flat category)")
There is no consolidation
(a) if flat categories should exist at all unsolved (or limited to the visual arts)
(b) which categories should be considered to be a flat category unsolved


(1) File:Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - The Reader Wreathed with Flowers (Virgil's Muse) - WGA5288.jpg is member of Category:Portrait paintings by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot + Category:Paintings by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot in the Louvre + Category:Females reading in Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot's paintings just for artist related assignments
(2) Category:Paintings by Lucas Cranach (I) contains
  • categories related to museum or gallery:
    • Paintings by Lucas Cranach the Elder in the Kunsthistorisches Museum‎ (39 F)
    • Paintings by Lucas Cranach in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (18 F)
    • Paintings by Lucas Cranach the Elder in the National Museum in Warsaw‎ (5 F)
  • categories related to piece of art:
    • Altars by Lucas Cranach the Elder‎ (3 C, 7 F)
  • categories related to series:
    • Christ blessing the Children by Lucas Cranach the Elder‎ (3 F)
    • Paintings of Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach the Elder‎‎ (1 K, 52 D)
    • Paintings of the Judgement of Paris by Lucas Cranach the Elder‎ (18 D)
    • Judith and Holofernes by Lucas Cranach (I)‎ (1 K, 2 D)
      • Paintings of Judith with the head of Holofernes by Lucas Cranach the Elder‎ (15 D)
    • Last Judgement by Lucas Cranach the Elder‎ (5 F)
    • Law and Grace by Lucas Cranach the Elder‎ (9 F)
    • Lot and his daughters by Lucas Cranach the Elder‎ (6 F)
    • Lucretia by Lucas Cranach the Elder‎ (14 F)
    • Martin Luther by Cranach‎ (39 F)
    • Madonna and Child by Lucas Cranach the Elder‎ (3 C, 44 F)
    • Philipp Melanchthon by Lucas Cranach the Elder‎ (7 F)
  • categories related to clothing:
    • Paintings by Lucas Cranach d. Ä. with fur‎ (2 C, 109 F)
  • categories related to type:
    • Portraits by Lucas Cranach (I)‎ (3 C, 168 F)
  • categories related to genre:
    • Hunting scenes by Lucas Cranach (I)‎ (12 F)
    • The Three Graces by Lucas Cranach (I) (1 C, 5 F)
    • Venuses by Lucas Cranach the Elder‎ (1 C, 6 F)
    • Venus and Cupid by Lucas Cranach the Elder‎ (1 C, 11 F)
  • category related to detail/fragments

Details could be also be one part of a polyptych or of the predella as well as further details. If there is a category by title of the painting, files of details should be kept also in this main category for visualization of the details in the painting, a sort key (see below) to sort the details from left to right is very helpful for orientation within the details.

    • Details of paintings by Lucas Cranach d. Ä.‎ (16 F)

plus 325 files directly under the painter categ.; no gallery page

as of 2013-05-03

Usability should be our concern, too.

Status quo flat categories[edit]

(where was it discussed?)

Group A: Time and location versus decade and location[edit]
Group B: Country of origin (artist) v. country of colletion[edit]
Group C: Subjects/Sujets v. time of production[edit]
  • Members of [[:Category:]] interacting with members of [[:Category:]]
Example: Category:1660s still life paintings and Category:17th-century still life paintings in Poland
Group D: Origin of painter and location v. location[edit]
  • Members of [[:Category:]] interacting with members of [[:Category:]]
Group E: Subjects and motifs v. subjects and location[edit]
Group F: Subjects and time of production v. motifs of a painter[edit]
  • Members of [[:Category:]] interacting with members of [[:Category:]]
Example: Category:Paintings by Anthony van Dyck in the National Gallery of Art and Category:Henrietta Maria of France by Anthony van Dyck
Group G: Image donor v. location[edit]
Example: Category:Google Art Project works in The National Museum of Western Art and Category:Paintings in the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
Group H: Techniques v. Technique of painter's œuvre[edit]
  • Members of [[:Category:]] interacting with members of [[:Category:]]
Example: [[:Category:]] interacting with members of [[:Category:]]

Future action[edit]

Members of Category:Paintings of Judith with the head of Holofernes by Lucas Cranach the Elder, Category:Venus with organist in the Prado Museum - two versions do indicate, that it is a motif category of a painter (with possible scattered locations of galleries), not a single artwork, so correctly naming of categories indicates that Average Joe knows what the category is about.

While doing sorting work, editors must check what "Category:Judgement of Paris by Lucas Cranach the Elder" means. Actually, it covers several artwork with the same motif (Metropolitan Museum of Art, Kimbell Art Museum etc.). In order to make a future policy standarized, there should be dogmatic approach: Categories must be as specific as possible, e.g. include further information, such as "... (motif)" or "... (MMA)".


Suggestion by Mattes: Until an agreement has been achieved: Any artwork must be (also) attached to a premier artist category, except if a category depicts the indiviudal artwork or a motif-and-painter category exists (Category:Mary Tudor by Antonis Mor paintings; no extra painter category to any of those artworks). Example: How should "Average Joe" find a painting by H.Holbein II. when it is attached to Category:Religious paintings by Hans Holbein der Jüngere and Category:Paintings by Hans Holbein der Jüngere in the Kunstmuseum Basel artist-wise? Exhibit #1 so Category:Paintings by Hans Holbein der Jüngere has been added by me. Reason: Users are not amused to look for the artist's work through his entire religious work or his work exhibited in some museum.
I agree concerning museum. Religous paintings .. does not prevent to find, instead even helps, as in e.g. Category:Paintings by Lucas Cranach (I) with 312 files, you better find your way in categories dealing with the artworks content (Religious..). This cat needs to be further sorted. Categorization in subcategories should be: History.., Religious ... example Category:Paintings by Peter Paul Rubens,Category:Paintings by Rembrandt.Oursana (talk) 00:54, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Example for high-level artist category assignment (plural): Category:Venus and Adonis by Titian was artist-categorized with Category:Titian Venuses, Category:Poesie by Titian and Category:Paintings by Titian in the Prado Museum. Mattes added Category:Paintings by Titian for usability reasons.

Commons talk:WikiProject Arts/Manual of Style/Policies and guidelines/CAT

Sort keys[edit]

Done by the parameter

  • after the colon in {{DEFAULTSORT:SORTKEY}} or
  • after the "Pipe-separator" in[[Category:Foo|SORTKEY]] (| ← "Pipe-separator", a MediaWiki term)

Usage for artwork:

(a) Artist (last name, and first name if necessary to distinguish)
(b) Original title (if not given, the common name) (or English title, examples)
(c) Date of work or year of completion (does it really work?)
Further reading: meta:Categories#Sort_key ·meta:Help:Piped link · Category:Pages with DEFAULTSORT conflicts · meta:CatScan

Further reading[edit]

Commons:Categories (does not even has a section about flat categories)


Flat categories[edit]

Status quo


Further reading[edit]

Commons:Categories (does not even has a section about flat categories)

Task force: WikiProject Arts/Groups/Categorization
Help: meta:Help:Categories · Commons:Categories · Commons:Naming_categories · Commons:First steps/Quality and description

WP:ART Manual of Style pages

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