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Categories for the Description of Works of Art


16. Subject Matter


DEFINITION

The subject matter of a work of art (sometimes referred to as its content) is the narrative, iconographic, or non-objective meaning conveyed by an abstract or a figurative composition. It is what is depicted in and by a work of art. It also covers the function of an object or architecture that otherwise has no narrative content.

SUBCATEGORIES



GENERAL DISCUSSION

Indexing the subject is core. All works of art and architecture have subject matter. Subject matter is critical to any researcher of art, both the scholar and the general public. The SUBJECT MATTER category may include an identification, description, and/or interpretation of what is depicted in and by a work or image.

What are subjects?
Subjects include things, places, activities, abstract shapes, decorations, stories, and events from literature, mythology, religion, or history. Philosophical, theoretical, symbolic, and allegorical themes and concepts may be subjects. Subjects of representational (figurative) works may be narrative, meaning that they tell a story or represent an episode in a story; they may be non-narrative, representing persons, animals, plants, buildings, or objects depicted in portraits, still lifes, landscapes, genre scenes, architectural drawings, allegories, and so on.

Non-representational works also have subject matter, which may include a reference to abstract content, decoration, function, or implied themes or attributes. Subject should be recorded for all works and images, even those that have no narrative or figurative "subject matter" in the traditional sense. For abstract works, architecture, decorative arts, furniture, and other works with no narrative or figurative subject matter, their "content" may be the function of the works and important aspects of their form or composition.

SUBJECT MATTER records the answers to the question: What is the work "of" or "about"? Traditionally, what the work is about (often called about-ness) is defined as its iconographical, narrative, thematic, or symbolic meaning; what the work is of (often called of-ness) is defined as what would be seen in the work by an objective, non-expert, unknowledgeable viewer. Consideration of all these aspects of subject matter is important for retrieval. A methodical approach to subject analysis is recommended. Subject may be analyzed by posing successive questions Who?, What?, When?, and Where? Catalogers should also examine the work at various levels of specificity based loosely on theories of human perception and recognition of meaning in images described by the scholar Erwin Panofsky.[1] Panofsky identified three primary levels of meaning in art: pre-iconographical description, expressional analysis or identification, and iconographical interpretation. Using a simplified and more practical application of this traditional art-historical approach can be helpful in indexing subjects for purposes of retrieval. The first level, description, refers to the generic elements depicted in or by the work (e.g., man). The second level, identification, refers to the specific subject, including named mythological, fictional, religious, or historical subjects (e.g., George Washington). The third level, interpretation, refers to the meaning or themes represented by the subjects and includes a conceptual analysis of what the work is about (e.g., political power).

Types of subjects
The subject matter may be a story or tale, and thus is a narrative. For example, the subject of a painting may be a narrative scene such as Christ Led before Pilate [Figure 7] or the Crucifixion [Figure 20], which are both episodes in the Passion of Christ series. A single work may include multiple episodes from the series. For example, the Crucifixion panel by the master of the Parlement de Paris [Figure 20] contains a central depiction of the Crucifixion, with an earlier scene of Veronica wiping Christ's face to the left (in the background) and a later scene of Christ releasing the souls from Purgatory (after his death) to the right. This altarpiece originally also included two wings depicting yet other episodes from the Passion series.

On the other hand, the subject matter of a work often need not tell a story. The subject matter of a sculpture may be a young woman bathing [Figure 23]; the subject of a portrait may be a named Dutch official, Jacob van Reygersberg [Figure 22]; the subject of a sketch may be an elevation for a façade; the subject matter of a pot can be its geometric decoration or its function; the subject of a basilica may be its dedication to the Holy Cross (Santa Croce) or its function as a place of worship. The subject matter may be implied themes or attributes that come to light through interpretation. For example, a brass door knob with an embossed lion's head can express meaning beyond the depiction of an animal; it may suggest the strength of the owner and protection for the house.

Subject matter can be drawn from standard motifs based on literature, tradition, or other works of art, or it can be highly individual and the result of the artist's personal imagination. The content of a work of art is essential to its conception, form, and power to communicate. By documenting the particulars of a work's representational aspects, its significance and uniqueness are defined.

Specificity and exhaustivity
Include a general subject designation (e.g., portrait, landscape). Specific terms should also be recorded; however, the level of specificity and inclusiveness applied to cataloging the subject content of a work of art or architecture will depend upon various factors, including the depth of the cataloger's expertise and the quality and extent of information available.

Uncertainty
Do not include information, such as interpretation, if you do not have scholarly opinion to support it; furthermore, if expert knowledge is unavailable, it is better to be broad and accurate rather than specific and incorrect (e.g., index a creature broadly as bird rather than specifically as goldfinch if you are uncertain of the species). If there is scholarly debate about the subject, explain the uncertainty in the SUBJECT MATTER - DISPLAY or DESCRIPTIVE NOTE and index all probable subjects in SUBJECT MATTER.

Cataloging rules
For the subcategories in this section, basic recommendations and discussion are provided below. For a fuller, more prescriptive set of cataloging rules for some of the subcategories, see Chapter 6: Subject in Cataloging Cultural Objects (CCO), which deals with a critical subset of the CDWA.

RELATED CATEGORIES and ACCESS

SUBJECT MATTER is a primary access point. Queries on subject matter may be further delimited by other parameters, so that, for example, it is possible to identify depictions of the Crucifixion in Germany and to compare them with those made in Italy, or to study the changes in a particular artist's approach to a given subject matter, such as Raphael's depictions of the Madonna and Child.

If the subject refers to function, you may record the same term in OBJECT/WORK - TYPE. If the TITLE refers to subject, the subject must also be recorded in SUBJECT MATTER.

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16.1. Subject Display

DEFINITION

A description of the subjects depicted in, on, or by the work.

EXAMPLES



Adoration of the Magi; Madonna and Child in the foreground, with Joseph behind her and the three Magi holding objects before her. [Figure 24]

Patron of Pax and the Jaguar God of the underworld spear the Bearded Dragon.

Hercules with a club and a lion skin. The young, larger-than-life god, holding the club with which he slew the Nemean lion, was intended as an exemplar of human achievement and symbol of Hadrian. [Figure 5]

Fruit, culinary utensils and drapery arranged on a tabletop. [Figure 21]

Ruined buildings and figures in a landscape. [Figure 19]

Korean Man in a fancy costume. [Figure 33]


DISCUSSION and GUIDELINES

Optional: Record a description of the subject of the work. Most institutions will discuss the subject in the DESCRIPTIVE NOTE and do not need to repeat the prose description here.

Form and Syntax
Use sentence case. You may use complete sentences and/or phrases. Begin the first word of the note with an uppercase letter, and end the note with a period. Follow rules for standard English grammar (if the record is in another language, use grammar rules appropriate to that language). If you rely upon information from a published source, cite the source in SUBJECT MATTER - CITATIONS.

TERMINOLOGY/FORMAT

Free text: This is not a controlled field. Index the subject in SUBJECT MATTER - INDEXING TERMS.

RELATED CATEGORIES and ACCESS

If the subject is discussed in the DESCRIPTIVE NOTE, it need not be repeated here.

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16.2. General Subject Terms

DEFINITION

Indexing terms that characterize in general terms what the work depicts or what is depicted in it. This subject analysis is the minimum required. It is recommended to also list specific subjects, if possible.

EXAMPLES


landscape
nonrepresentational art
animal


DISCUSSION and GUIDELINES

Required: Record one or more terms that characterize in general terms the persons, groups of persons, things, places, activities, abstract shapes, decorations, stories, events from literature, mythology, religion, or history, and philosophical, theoretical, symbolic, or allegorical themes depicted in the work. Even though the subject matter may be referred to in the TITLES OR NAMES category, indexing of the content is required in SUBJECT MATTER.

It is required to include at least one General Subject term, taken from the list noted below. Additional Specific Subject terms are strongly recommended.

Authority and controlled list: For the general terms, use a controlled list, including the terms listed below and others as necessary.


advertising and commercial
allegory
animal
apparel
architecture
botanical
cartographic
ceremonial object
cityscape
didactic and propaganda
funerary art
genre
history and legend
human figure
interior architecture
landscape
literary theme
machine
military
mixed motif
nonrepresentational art
object (utilitarian)
performance
portrait
religion and mythology
seascape
still life


RELATED CATEGORIES and ACCESS

This is a PRIMARY ACCESS POINT. It is required to record subject here, even if the subject is referred to in OBJECT/WORK TYPE or TITLE OR NAME. Express nuance or uncertainty regarding subject in the SUBJECT MATTER - DISPLAY or DESCRIPTIVE NOTE subcategories.

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16.2.1. General Subject Type

DEFINITION

A classification of the level of subject description indicated by the indexing terms, for use if necessary to distinguish between what a work is "of" and what it is "about."

EXAMPLES


description
identification
interpretation


DISCUSSION and GUIDELINES

Optional: Record a term to designate the type of subject being recorded. Use lower case. This designation will allow the distinction between a subject reflecting what the work is "of" (description and identification) or from what the work is "about" (interpretation). See discussion at SPECIFIC SUBJECT EXTENT below.

TERMINOLOGY/FORMAT

Controlled list: Control this subcategory with a controlled list, using the following terms: description, identification, interpretation.

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16.2.2. General Subject Extent

DEFINITION

When there are multiple subjects, a term indicating the part of the work to which these subject terms apply.

EXAMPLES


recto
verso
side A
side B
main panel
predella

general
overall


DISCUSSION and GUIDELINES

Optional: Record a term designating the part of the work for which the subject terms are pertinent. Use lower case.

Examples of Extent could include side A, side B, recto, verso, main panel, predella, etc. Use the terms general or overall when necessary to distinguish the overall subject from the subject of the parts.

This subcategory may be used when a single work may has multiple subjects. For example, a Greek vase may have the Judgment of Paris on Side A and Two Amazons Battling a Greek Warrior on Side B [Figure 9]; a polyptych may have 10 subjects (such as Saint Catherine, Saint Ursula, Madonna and Child, Saint Apollonia, Saint Mary Magdalen, John the Baptist, Saint John the Evangelist, Saint James Major, Saint Bartholomew and Saint Peter [Figure 2].

TERMINOLOGY/FORMAT

Controlled list: Control this subcategory with a controlled list, using the terms in the Examples above, and others as necessary.

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16.3. Specific Subject Terms

DEFINITION

A designation indicating if the subject indexing terms are taken from the list of general terms or are specific terms taken from various authorities.

EXAMPLES


Adoration of the Magi [Figure 24]
Annunciation [Figure 28]
Herakles [Figure 5]
Socrates
Henry IV
Thomas Jefferson
Chicomecoatl
Kalala Hunga
Piazza San Marco (Venice, Italy)
Himeji Castle (Hyogo prefecture, Japan)
grand staircase, Opéra (Paris, France)
Tokyo (Japan)
strength
power
death


DISCUSSION and GUIDELINES

Optional: Record one or more terms that characterize the persons, groups of persons, things, places, activities, abstract shapes, decorations, stories, events from literature, mythology, religion, or history, and philosophical, theoretical, symbolic, or allegorical themes depicted in the work. Even though the subject matter may be referred to in the TITLES OR NAMES category, indexing of the content is required in SUBJECT MATTER.

It is required to include at least one General Subject term. Additional Specific Subject terms are strongly recommended.

In order to ensure consistent indexing, the cataloging institution should establish guidelines regarding the number of subject terms to be assigned to each work based on available time and resources. The following methods may be used: Catalogers may assign terms for each of the three levels: description, identification, and interpretation (see EXTENT below). They may use a checklist of objects, persons, events, activities, places, and periods, corresponding to the questions Who?, What?, When?, and Where? They may read the work from left to right, from top to bottom, from foreground to background, or from the most prominent to least prominent subjects in the work. Works that have a primarily functional purpose, such as architecture and utilitarian objects, should also be analyzed for subject, including the work's function and/or form.

Note that identification of the subject may change over time, as when Giambologna's Young Woman Bathing [Figure 23] was previously identified as Bathsheba, and before that as Bathing Venus. If the identification of the subject has changed or is disputed or uncertain, describe it in SUBJECT MATTER - DISPLAY or DESCRIPTIVE NOTE, and index all possible subjects; for example, a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci may depict the Christ Child with a Lamb, or the child may be John the Baptist [Figure 30].

For all works
It is required to index the work using General Subject terms that would allow researchers to find all similar subjects (e.g., portrait, landscape, nonrepresentational).

For figurative works
Record all named subject matter in the work, including the proper names of people, fictional characters, places, events, and iconographical themes (e.g., Adoration of the Magi). In addition, add terms that generically identify things depicted in the work (e.g., human female, goldfinch, temple).

For nonrepresentational works
For works with no figurative or narrative content, such as nonrepresentational or abstract art, describe the visual elements of the composition (e.g., geometric patterns, friezes, spheres). Alternatively, for decorative arts and material culture objects that are primarily functional, describe the object's function (e.g., watering can, prayer rug, divination object). For such objects, record themes or allegorical or symbolic meanings, if any.

For architectural works, use terms that describe the work's purpose or primary function. This can include its function based on ownership, activities associated with its use, or its purpose based on developmental design (e.g., corporate headquarters, church, religious building, tract houses). The subject term may repeat the OBJECT/WORK - TYPE. For churches and other buildings with dedications, record the dedication as a subject.

Multiple subjects
For a group of works, include all of the subjects represented in the group, if possible. If there are too many subjects to include them all, include the most important or most prominent subjects.

When a single work contains multiple subjects, include a clarification in the SUBJECT MATTER - DISPLAY or DESCRIPTIVE NOTE field and index all subjects in the controlled fields. Use SUBJECT MATTER - EXTENT to indicate where each subject is depicted on the work.

Form and syntax
Express the subject in natural word order. Use the name or term used most often in scholarly literature to refer to the subject. Capitalize the proper names of events (real or fictional) (e.g., Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II), historical people, fictional characters, and titles of literature, songs, etc. Express generic terms in lower case. Avoid abbreviations.

Use a name or term in the language of the catalog record, if applicable (e.g., Adoration of the Magi in an English record, rather than the Italian Adorazione dei Magi). For proper names, when there is no English equivalent for a subject, or if a non-English name is more commonly used, use a name in the appropriate language (e.g., Quetzalcóatl). Use diacritics as appropriate.

RELATED CATEGORIES and ACCESS

This is a PRIMARY ACCESS POINT. It is required to record subject here, even if the subject is referred to in OBJECT/WORK TYPE or TITLE OR NAME. Express nuance or uncertainty regarding subject in the SUBJECT MATTER - DISPLAY or DESCRIPTIVE NOTE subcategories.

Terms for Specific Subject access may come from various authorities. Control terminology with the SUBJECT AUTHORITY for the proper names of the following: historical events; fictional characters, places, and events; religious or mythological characters or events; literary themes; iconographical themes. An authority with hierarchical structure, cross referencing, and synonymous names is recommended.

Control terminology with the other authorities when indicated: Control the names of historical people and corporate bodies with the PERSON/CORPORATE BODY AUTHORITY; control the name of geographical places with the PLACE/LOCATION AUTHORITY; control generic subject terms with the GENERIC CONCEPT AUTHORITY. Also, when one object/work is portrayed in another, subject terminology may be taken from another object/work record.

Populate the authorities named above with published vocabularies when possible, including the AAT, ICONCLASS, Garnier's Thesaurus iconographique, TGN, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Louis Réau's Iconographiede l'art chrétien, Gertrude Schiller's Iconography of Christian Art,Bibliotheca Sanctorum, George Kaftal's Iconography of the Saints in Italian Painting, Lexikon byzantinisch-christlicher Symbole, and Andor Pigler's Barockthemen, Richard Brilliant's Gesture and Rank in Roman Art, and Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya, NGA (NIMA), the Index of Jewish Art, LCSH, LC Name Authorities, Canadiana_Authorities, ULAN, and dozens of others for Western and non-Western art, as listed in the pertinent CDWA Authorities sections.

Where necessary to clarify the subject to the end user, it is recommended to display broader contexts, biographical information for persons, or other clarifying information in parentheses or with other punctuation to avoid confusion (e.g., Marilyn Monroe (American actress, 1926-1962); Saint Bravo Cathedral (Haarlem, the Netherlands); Storm King Mountain (Orange county, New York, USA); Krishna (incarnation of Vishnu, Hindu diety); Immaculate Conception (Life of the Virgin cycle)). This parenthetical information may be generated for display from the authorities.

Using authorities for subjects also assures that synonyms are accessible. For example, in the SUBJECT AUTHORITY, Hercules is the Roman name and Herakles is the Greek name for the same mythical hero [Figure 5]; the Three Kings and the Three Wise Men are the same characters as the Magi [Figure 24]. In the GENERIC CONCEPT AUTHORITY, stag beetle and pinching bug are synonyms for insects of the family Lucanidae [Figure 15].

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16.3.1. Specific Subject Type

DEFINITION

A classification of the level of subject description indicated by the indexing terms, for use if necessary to distinguish between what a work is "of" and what it is "about."

EXAMPLES


description
identification
interpretation


DISCUSSION and GUIDELINES

Optional: Record a term to designate the type of subject being recorded. Use lower case. This designation will allow the distinction between a subject reflecting what the work is "of" (description and identification) or from what the work is "about" (interpretation).

The first level of subject analysis has to do with an objective description of what is depicted. For example, with Houdon's statue in the Hermitage, the description terms may be human male and uniform, because it depicts a man in uniform. The second level of subject analysis is an identification of the subject (portrait of George Washington). Both description and identification describe what the work is "of." The third level of subject analysis would identify deeper meaning as interpretation (e.g., political power, given that Washington stands in a Classical pose and leans upon a bundle of rods that signified the authority of Roman magistrates – thus Houdon associates Washington with great and powerful Roman magistrates of antiquity). Interpretation describes what the work is "about."

Description
Terms for description refer to generic elements depicted in or by the work. These are terms reflecting only what you would see in the subject if you did not know the specific people, event, story, or place depicted (e.g., human female, nude, column, train, picnic, red circle, anamorphosis, bird's-eye perspective, boats, battle, boys playing, man and woman kissing). For example, if you were analyzing a statue of Shiva, a generic description term would be human male, because you would not know his name or that he was a Hindu deity.

Identification
Terms for identification refer to the specific subject, including named historical, mythological, religious, fictional, or literary subjects (e.g., Leiden (Holland), Bodhisattva, Endymion, Three Graces, Madonna and Child, Rape of Lucretia, Adoration of the Magi, Buddha Taming the Mad Elephant, Hercules and Antaeus, Washington Crossing the Delaware, Battle of Waterloo, Vanitas, Orans ). These will often, but not always, be proper names. Identifiable iconography can include narrative or non-narrative content. For the statue of Shiva, identification terms would include Shiva (Hindu deity).

Narrative iconography includes images of fictional or historical events. These events can be characterized visually as individual events, such as Burning of the Houses of Parliament; as episodes, such as the Birth of the Virgin (which is an episode in the Life of the Virgin Mary cycle); or as full cycles, such as the Labors of Hercules. The Mad Hatter's Tea Party is an example of a fictional subject; Buddha Disputing with the Sages or the Crucifixion is a religious subject; Maximilian Led to the Firing Squad and Ashurbanipal Killing a Lion are historical narratives. If the subject is taken from a literary work, the work of literature should be cited in SUBJECT MATTER -CITATIONS. For example, David's Farewell of Telemachus and Eucharis [Figure 6] was based upon the didactic novel Télémaque written by Fénelon in 1699.

Non-narrative iconography consists of static, self-contained representations of individual people, topographical locations, or objects. Non-narrative iconography is exemplified by Portrait of Louis XIV, View of Lake Como, or Still Life with Japanese Beetles. It may be difficult to separate narrative from non-narrative scenes, for example, a depiction of Christ Crucified with Saints Francis and Anthony Attending is a devotional image that takes a narrative episode from the Life of Christ and places it in the midst of medieval saints who ponder its significance. To an untrained observer who does not realize that the three protagonists are not part of the same story, this nuance would be indecipherable. Iconographical information depends upon literary source material, historical documentation, and the traditions of visual and material culture.

Interpretation
Terms for interpretation refer to the meaning or themes represented by the subjects and includes a conceptual analysis of what the work is about (e.g., salvation, original sin, sacrifice, truth, power, innocence, idolatry). Works of art often have meaning beyond the identified subject. For example, a portrait may convey an association between the sitter and a historical or mythological figure; conversely, a mythological figure maybe a portrait of a living person, as in Canova's Maria Paolina Borghese as Venus Victrix. Likewise, subjects may refer to qualities or themes.For the statue of Shiva, the interpretation could be destroyer, if scholarly or other authoritative sources state that the sculpture portrays him in that role.

TERMINOLOGY/FORMAT

Controlled list: Control this subcategory with a controlled list, using the following terms: description, identification, interpretation.

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16.3.2. Specific Subject Extent

DEFINITION

When there are multiple subjects, a term indicating the part of the work to which these subject terms apply.

EXAMPLES


recto
verso
side A
side B
main panel
predella

general
overall


DISCUSSION and GUIDELINES

Optional: Record a term designating the part of the work for which the subject terms are pertinent. Use lower case.

Examples of Extent could include side A, side B, recto, verso, main panel, predella, etc. Use the terms general or overall when necessary to distinguish the overall subject from the subject of the parts.

This subcategory may be used when a single work may has multiple subjects. For example, a Greek vase may have the Judgment of Paris on Side A and Two Amazons Battling a Greek Warrior on Side B [Figure 9]; a polyptych may have 10 subjects (such as Saint Catherine, Saint Ursula, Madonna and Child, Saint Apollonia, Saint Mary Magdalen, John the Baptist, Saint John the Evangelist, Saint James Major, Saint Bartholomew and Saint Peter [Figure 2].

TERMINOLOGY/FORMAT

Controlled list: Control this subcategory with a controlled list, using the terms in the Examples above, and others as necessary.

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16.4. Outside Iconography Term

DEFINITION

Terms for subjects taken from some outside source not included in the controlled authorities linked to the work record.

EXAMPLE


story of Hercules (Heracles)


DISCUSSION and GUIDELINES

Optional: Record a term from an outside source of iconography, such as Iconclass or Library of Congress Subject Headings. Transcribe the term exactly as found.

Given that there is no available comprehensive source of iconographical subjects, this subcategory allows catalogers to record terms found in various sources that are not part of the controlled vocabulary compiled in the Subject Authority.

TERMINOLOGY/FORMAT

Free Text: This subcategory is not controlled.

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16.4.1. Outside Iconography Code

DEFINITION

An indication of the code or unique identifier for the subject in the cited iconographical source.

EXAMPLES


sh 85060359
94L


DISCUSSION and GUIDELINES

Optional: Record the unique identifier or code for the iconographical term as found in the source. The source from which this code is taken must also be recorded and linked or otherwise associated with the code.

TERMINOLOGY/FORMAT

Free text: This subcategory is not controlled.

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16.4.2. Outside Iconography Source

DEFINITION

An indication of the published work that provided the term used to index the depicted subject.

EXAMPLES


Waal, ICONCLASS (1975)
Library of Congress Authorities online (2002-)


DISCUSSION and GUIDELINES

Optional: The source from which the iconography code taken.

TERMINOLOGY/FORMAT

Authority Ideally, this information is controlled by citations in the citations authority; see RELATED TEXTUAL REFERENCES.

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16.5. Subject Interpretive History

DEFINITION

The interpretive history or iconology of a work is its place in the history of the meaning of its subject matter. Studies in iconology trace the developments and changes of meaning of an iconographical subject over long periods of time and often in more than one society.

EXAMPLES


[for Endymion Sleeping]
In Western society, the motif of a reclining male figure, sleeping with one arm over his head as in this work, begins in the third century BCE to represent a demi-god's disturbed sleep (e.g.,Barberini Faun); in the second century CE, when this work was made, the Romans used it as a symbol of the drugged sleep of a human male who is about to be deified (e.g., Endymion).

[for St. John the Baptist]
In early Christian times, St. John the Baptist was represented as a shepherd, the precursor of Christ, the Good Shepherd. By the tenth century, when this work was made, John was represented as a haggard, emaciated hermit, a prophet who lived in the desert, who warned of coming damnation if the people did not repent and follow the Messiah whom he had recognized, and for whom he would die a martyr. He was designated as the last of the Old Testament prophets and the first of the New; he was the first soul to be freed from limbo.


DISCUSSION and GUIDELINES

Optional: Record a discussion of how the subject in this work relates to other depictions of the same the subject. Most institutions will discuss this topic in the DESCRIPTIVE NOTE and do not need to repeat it here.

Form and Syntax
Use sentence case. You may use complete sentences and/or phrases. Begin the first word of the note with an uppercase letter, and end the note with a period. Follow rules for standard English grammar (if the record is in another language, use grammar rules appropriate to that language). If you rely upon information from a published source, cite the source in SUBJECT MATTER - CITATIONS.

TERMINOLOGY/FORMAT

Free text: This is not a controlled field. Index the subject in SUBJECT MATTER - INDEXING TERMS.

RELATED CATEGORIES and ACCESS

If the subject is discussed in the DESCRIPTIVE NOTE, it need not be repeated here. The general history of the subject should be discussed in the SUBJECT AUTHORITY, and need not be repeated here.

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16.6. Remarks

DEFINITION

Additional notes or comments pertinent to information in this category.

DISCUSSION and GUIDELINES

Optional: Record a note containing additional information or comments on this category. Use consistent syntax and format. For rules regarding writing notes, see DESCRIPTIVE NOTE.

FORMAT/TERMINOLOGY

Free-text: This is not a controlled field. Use consistent syntax and format.

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16.7. Citations

DEFINITION

A reference to a bibliographic source, unpublished document, or individual opinion that provides the basis for the information recorded in this category.

DISCUSSION and GUIDELINES

Optional: Record the source used for information in this category. For a full set of rules for CITATIONS, see RELATED TEXTUAL REFERENCES - CITATIONS.

TERMINOLOGY/FORMAT

Authority: Ideally, this information is controlled by citations in the citations authority; see RELATED TEXTUAL REFERENCES.

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16.7.1. Page

DEFINITION

Page number, volume, date accessed for Web sites, and any other information indicating where in the source the information was found.

DISCUSSION and GUIDELINES

Optional: For a full set of rules for PAGE, see RELATED TEXTUAL REFERENCES - CITATIONS - PAGE.

FORMAT/TERMINOLOGY

Free-text: This is not a controlled field. Use consistent syntax and format.

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EXAMPLES

For various kinds of subjects


[historical event is depicted]
Subject indexing terms:
General:
history/legend
Specific: Lakota Battle of Little Big Horn (Indian Wars) | Cheyenne | war| horses | death | United States Army 7th Cavalry

[allegorical scene, a Chinese painting of an ancient plum tree with two new shoots]
Subject indexing terms:
General: allegory | botanical
Specific: Spring | birth | plum tree | shoots | renewal

[narrative subject, Saint Bruno sees a heavenly vision while meditating in the wilderness]
Subject indexing terms:
General: religion/mythology
Specific: Saint Bruno (French cleric, 11th century) | vision | heaven | angels | wilderness | Carthusian order (Christian monastic order) | meditation

[landscape depicting a forest with a winding road and bridge, with a castle in the distance]
Subject indexing terms:
General: landscape
Specific: castle | road | forest | bridge

[portrait photograph of Abraham Lincoln and two other men on the Antietam battlefield]
Subject indexing terms:
General: portraits | history/legend
Specific: Allan Pinkerton (American Secret Service agent, detective, 1819-1884) | Abraham Lincoln (American president, 1809-1865) | John McClernand (American Union General, 1812-1900) | Antietam Battlefield (Sharpsburg, Maryland) | Battle of Antietam (American Civil War) | army camp | United States Army | tent | president | campstool | war | stovepipe hat | soldier | officer

[abstract work]
Subject indexing terms:
General: nonrepresentational
Specific: texture | light | spots | light and dark | positive and negative space

[decorative arts, carpet with a prominent central sunflower, the symbol of the Sun King Louis XIV]
Subject indexing terms:
General: object (utilitarian)
Specific: carpet | sunflower | acanthus leaf scrolls | fruit | Chinese porcelain | flowers | Sun King | bowls | Louis XIV (French king, 1638-1715, reigned 1643-1715)

[architecture, the Pantheon, Roman temple that was later a church dedicated to Santa Maria ad Martyres]
Subject indexing terms:
General: architecture
Specific: worship | church | museum | temple | planetary gods | Queen of Martyrs (Veneration of the Virgin Mary)

[drawing, part of an architectural work is depicted, section and elevation of the drum and dome of Saint Peter's]
Subject indexing terms:
General: architecture
Specific: Saint Peter's (Rome, Italy) | dome | section | drum | elevation | lantern | cathedral | buttresses | basilica | pilasters | papal authority


Multiple subjects


[continuous narrative on a wedding chest, several scenes from the story of the Judgment of Paris]
Subject indexing terms:
General: religion/mythology | landscape
Specific: Greek mythology | human male | human female | Judgment of Paris | Trojan War (Greek legends) |Aphrodite (Greek goddess) | Athena (Greek goddess) | Hera (Greek goddess) | Paris (Greek legendary character) | Helen (Greek legendary character) | castle | fortified city | horse | beauty | love | contest | marriage | victory of love over war

[multiple subjects, for a portrait, where the identification of the sitter has been changed; the former identification is included]
Subject indexing terms:
General: portrait
Specific: human male | halberd | nobleman | halberdier | sword | soldier | ax | spear | battle-ax | weapon | Mannerist costume | civic guard | Francesco Guardi (Italian nobleman, born 1514) | Cosimo I de' Medici (Italian nobleman, 1519-1574, Grand Duke of Tuscany 1569-1574)

[for a group of drawings including views of several cities in Italy]
Subject indexing terms:
General: views
Specific: bird's-eye views | cadastral maps | topographical views | cityscapes | Venice (Italy) | Rome (Italy) | Florence (Italy) | Naples (Italy) | San Gimignano (Italy) | Turin (Italy) | Siena (Italy) | Lake Garda (Italy) | landscapes | wind | architecture


Comparisons of thorough and less thorough indexing


[a thorough indexing of a still life with flowers]
Subject indexing terms:
General: still life | botanical
Specific: flowers | roses | crown of thorns plant | lilies |violet | hyacinth | tulips | sweetpeas | peonies | primrose | narcissus | cyclamen | transience | caterpillar| flies | bird's nest | eggs | ledge | urn | Pronkstilleven | smell | beauty | transience | life | death | senses | Vanitas | Passion of Christ

[a briefer indexing of the same still life with flowers, listing only the most prominent items in the painting and the interpretation]
Subject indexing terms:

General: still life
Specific: flowers | urn | ledge | crown of thorns plant | tulips | roses | bird’s nest | insects | beauty | transience | life | death | senses | Vanitas | Passion of Christ

[for an amphora with two scenes depicted]
Subject indexing terms:
General: religion/mythology | ceremonial object |object (utilitarian)
Specific: human males | human females | victor | competition | prize | Nike (Greek goddess) | Athena Promachos (Greek iconography)

[for the same amphora, using the EXTENT field]
Extent: overall Subject indexing terms:
General: religion/mythology | ceremonial object
Extent: side A Subject indexing terms:
Specific: Athena Promachos (Greek iconography) | human female
Extent: side B Subject indexing terms:
Specific: Nike (Greek goddess) | victor | human female | prize | competition

[including the DISPLAY and TYPE fields, for a manuscript illumination]
Subject Matter Display: Shah Jahan on horseback, dressed for the hunt.
Subject indexing term:
General: portrait Type: description
Subject indexing term:
Specific: horse Type: description
Subject indexing term:
Specific: hunt Type: description
Subject indexing term:
Specific: Shah Jahan (Mughal emperor of India, 1592-1666, ruled 1628-1658 Type: identification
Subject indexing term:
Specific: virility Type: interpretation
Subject indexing term:
Specific: powerType: interpretation


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NOTE: The outline numbers are subject to change; they are intended only to organize this document.

Revised 9 April 2014