Art & Art History

What is a catalogue raisonné?

Catalogue Raisonné = kå-tå-"log-" rA-z&-'nA/
[Fr. literally, reasoned catalog] (Webster's)

[Fr., = carefully studied or methodical catalogue.] A descriptive catalogue arranged according to subjects, or branches of subjects; hence, generally or loosely, a classified or methodical list. (Oxford English Dictionary)

A catalogue raisonné is a publication that serves as a reference work with respect to the legitimacy of individual works of art, drawing up an exhaustive list of either the totality of the artist’s oeuvre (Antoine Louis Barye), or the complete output by medium (Max Beckman), or of a specific period (Daniel Buren).  Whatever the chosen form, the catalog raisonné must list for each work of art its technical aspects, provenance, and history, along with a complete bibliography (references and exhibition venues) accompanied by its reproduction.

Corboz, Noelle, Cécile de Pebeyre, Marc Blondeau, and Thierry Meaudre. A.C.I.: Art Catalogue Index: Catalogues Raisonnés & Critical Catalogues of Artists 1780-2008. Geneva: Blondeau Fine Art Services, 2009.

Finding Catalogues Raisonné

Catalogues raisonnés are cataloged and shelved on the 4th floor, along with the other art books in the general collection.  You may search for them in the library's catalog by using appropriate key words.  Many, but not all, will have the words catalogue raisonné appended to the artist's name within the subject headings.   Click below for a general search example: 

Online Catalogues Raisonnés

Examples from the catalog