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This is a proposal for a new Type: Thing > CreativeWork > VisualArtwork

I am aware that there are already sub-Types for "Painting", "Sculpture", and "Photograph", but this doesn't seem like a viable way forward. There are many other types of artwork (printmaking, drawing, collage, assemblage, digital art, etc.) and it seems illogical to create new Types for each artform.

So my proposal is for the 'VisualArtwork' Type to be used instead of "Painting" or "Sculpture", and instead of "Photograph" where the photograph in question is being presented in context as an artwork as opposed to forensic photography, etc.

A number of additional properties enable would allow a wider range of visual artwork media to use this type, and provide more information about the artwork being described.

A draft machine-readable schema is available.


Thing > CreativeWork > VisualArtwork

All properties inherited from Thing and CreativeWork, plus these additional properties

Property Expected Type Description
Properties from VisualArtwork
artform Text e.g. Painting, Drawing, Scupture, Print, Photograph, Assemblage, Collage, etc.
materials Text A material/medium which which the artwork is made e.g. Oil, Watercolour, Acrylic, Linoprint, Marble, Cyanotype, Digital, Lithograph, DryPoint, Intaglio, Pastel, Woodcut, Pencil, etc. A mixed media piece of artwork can have multiple materials.
surface Text the surface or support on which the artwork is made e.g. Canvas, Paper, Wood, Board, etc.
width Distance width of the artwork
height Distance height of the artwork
depth Distance depth of the artwork
artEdition Number The number of copies when multiple copies of a piece of artwork are produced - e.g. for a limited edition of 20 prints, 'artEdition' refers to the total number of copies (in this example "20").
colorPalette colorPalette Color Palette for the artwork

Some examples:

Example Markup

A Painting

Fairly straightforward painting

  1. <div vocab="http://schema.org/" typeof="VisualArtwork">
  2.     <link property="sameAs" href="http://rdf.freebase.com/rdf/m.0439_q" />
  3.     <h1 property="name" lang="fr">La trahison des images </h1>
  4.     <p>
  5.         A <span property="artform">painting</span> also known as 
  6.         <span>The Treason of Images</span> or 
  7.         <span property="alternateName">The Treachery of Images</span>.
  8.     </p>  
  9.     <img property="image" src="http://http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b9/MagrittePipe.jpg" />
  10.     <div property="description">
  11.         <p>
  12.             The painting shows a pipe. Below it, Magritte painted, 
  13.             <q lang="fr">Ceci n'est pas une pipe.</q>, French for 
  14.             "This is not a pipe."
  15.         </p>
  16.         <p>
  17.             His statement is taken to mean that the painting itself is not a pipe. 
  18.             The painting is merely an image of a pipe. Hence, the description, 
  19.             "this is not a pipe."
  20.         </p>
  21.         <p>
  22.             Similarly, the image shown above is neither a pipe nor even a painting, 
  23.             but rather a digital photograph.
  24.         </p>
  25.         <p>
  26.             The painting is sometimes given as an example of meta message conveyed 
  27.             by paralanguage. Compare with Korzybski's <q>The word is not the thing</q> 
  28.             and <q>The map is not the territory</q>.
  29.     </div>
  30.     <ul>
  31.         <li>Artist: 
  32.             <span property="creator" typeof="Person">
  33.                 <a property="sameAs" href="https://www.freebase.com/m/06h88">
  34.                     <span property="name">René Magritte</span>
  35.                 </a>
  36.             </span>
  37.         </li>
  38.         <li>Dimensions:
  39.             <span property="width" typeof="Distance">940 mm</span> × 
  40.             <span property="height" typeof="Distance">635 mm</span>
  41.         </li>
  42.         <li>Materials:
  43.             <span property="materials">oil</span> on <span property="surface">canvas</span>
  44.         </li>
  45.     </ul>
  46. </div>

Multiple materials

A piece of Installation Art which uses multiple instances of the materials property

  1. <div vocab="http://schema.org/" typeof="VisualArtwork">
  2.     <link property="sameAs" href="http://rdf.freebase.com/rdf/m.0dbwsn" />
  3.     <h1 property="name">My Bed</h1>
  4.     <p>
  5.         My Bed, first created in <time property="dateCreated" datetime="1998">1998</time>, 
  6.         is an <span property="artform">installation</span> by the British artist Tracey Emin.
  7.     </p>  
  10.     <img property="image" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/9d/Emin-My-Bed.jpg" />
  11.     <div property="description">
  12.         <p>
  13.             <cite>My Bed</cite> was exhibited at the Tate Gallery in 
  14.             <time property="datePublished" datetime="1998">1999</time> as one 
  15.             of the shortlisted works for the Turner Prize. It consisted of her 
  16.             bed with bedroom objects in an abject state, and gained much media 
  17.             attention. Although it did not win the prize, its notoriety has 
  18.             persisted.
  19.     </div>
  20.     <ul>
  21.         <li>Artist: 
  22.             <span property="creator" typeof="Person">
  23.                 <a property="sameAs" href="https://www.freebase.com/m/015sxw">
  24.                     <span property="name">Tracey Emin</span>
  25.                 </a>
  26.             </span>
  27.         </li>
  28.     </ul>
  29.     <p>
  30.         The artwork generated considerable media furore, particularly over the 
  31.         fact that the <span property="materials">bedsheets</span> were stained 
  32.         with bodily secretions and the floor had items from the artist's room 
  33.         (such as <span property="materials">condoms</span>, 
  34.         <span property="materials">a pair of knickers</span> with menstrual 
  35.         period stains, other detritus, and functional, everyday objects, 
  36.         including a <span property="materials">pair of slippers</span>). The 
  37.         <span property="materials">bed</span> was presented in the state that 
  38.         Emin claimed it had been when she said she had not got up from it for 
  39.         several days due to suicidal depression brought on by relationship 
  40.         difficulties.
  41. </div>


Example showing artEdition property in use for a piece of artwork that was created as a series of multiple identical items

  1. <div vocab="http://schema.org/" typeof="VisualArtwork">
  2.     <link property="sameAs" href="http://www.pada.net/members/memPicFull.php/38/367" />
  3.     <h1 property="name">Still Life under the Lamp</h1>
  4.     <p>
  5.         <span property="artform">Print</span> from <time property="dateCreated" datetime="1962">1962</time>
  6.         by Pablo Picasso. Numbered from the edition of <span property="artEdition">50</span>, 
  7.         each signed by the artist in pencil, lower right: Picasso.
  8.     </p>  
  9.     <img property="image" src="http://www.pada.net/Photos/38/Full/picasso.lamp.jpg" />
  10.     <div property="description">
  11.         <p>
  12.             <cite>Still Life under the Lamp</cite>, from 1962, made when the artist 
  13.             was eighty years old, are counted among Picasso’s most important works 
  14.             in linocut, a technique that he explored in the late 1950s and early 
  15.             1960s. The progressive proofs show the step by step sequence by which 
  16.             Picasso created his linocut images showing the development of the 
  17.             image into its final form.
  18.         </p>
  19.     </div>
  20.     <ul>
  21.         <li>Artist: 
  22.             <span property="creator" typeof="Person">
  23.                 <a property="sameAs" href="https://www.freebase.com/m/07pj7mx">
  24.                     <span property="name">Pablo Picasso</span>
  25.                 </a>
  26.             </span>
  27.         </li>
  28.         <li>Dimensions:
  29.             <span property="width" typeof="Distance">25 3/16 inches</span> × 
  30.             <span property="height" typeof="Distance">20 3/4 inches</span>
  31.         </li>
  32.         <li>Materials:
  33.             <span property="materials">linoprint</span> on <span property="surface">paper</span>
  34.         </li>
  35.         <li>
  36.             See also <a href="http://www.pada.net/members/memPicFull.php/38/367">here</a>
  37.             and <a href="http://www.britishmuseum.org/about_us/news_and_press/press_releases/2014/picasso_linocuts.aspx">here</a>.
  38.     </ul>
  39. </div>

Early Color Palette proposal

The color palette information would be very useful to classify, categorize and index artwork by colors. I have provided an example of how this structure could look:

<span itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/ColorPalette"<http://schema.org/ColorPalette>>

               <div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/ColorSwatch"<http://schema.org/ColorSwatch>>
                               Sky Blue
               <div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/ColorSwatch"<http://schema.org/ColorSwatch>>
               <div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/ColorSwatch"<http://schema.org/ColorSwatch>>
                               Crimson Red
               <div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/ColorSwatch"<http://schema.org/ColorSwatch>>
               <div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/ColorSwatch"<http://schema.org/ColorSwatch>>



Posted to public-vocabs on May 7, 2013: http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-vocabs/2013May/0024.html Discussion on colorpalette property added to VisualArtwork: http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-vocabs/2013Jun/0084.html