Admission is always free Directions

Open today: 10:00 to 5:00

User's Guide

NGA Online Editions home page
Edition home page
Object page
Artist page
Reader Mode
Archived Version(s)
Compare Images
Image restrictions

National Gallery of Art Online Editions (Œ) presents the most current, in-depth information on the Gallery’s collections of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts along with rich capabilities for exploring the art. It features a customized reading environment and tools to facilitate scholarly research, such as signed and dated entries, preformatted citations, archived versions, printable PDFs, a tool for comparing images, and a means to save and manage texts and images for later recall and export. NGA Online Editions puts detailed information, images, and interactive media at the fingertips of students, scholars, and anyone who would like to learn more about the nation’s art collections.

NGA Online Editions launches with Dutch Paintings of the Seventeenth Century, an edition (catalog) that encompasses 123 works of art by 63 artists. Editions on other areas of the Gallery’s collection will follow, and the series will eventually comprise some 5,000 works of art.

NGA Online Editions is fully integrated with the Gallery’s website ( and is best viewed in Firefox or Chrome.

Getting to the site

Select “NGA Online Editions” from the drop-down menu under Research on An Internet search may also lead you to an NGA Online Editions page if a particular artist or work of art is part of an Œ catalog.

Recognizing the site

NGA Online Editions has its own home page ( and a separate home page for each edition within the series. The Dutch paintings catalog, for example, is located at

Each page within the series is identified by a gray bar near the top of the page bearing the Πlogo and the series name followed by a short title of the edition. This bar also appears on every object (work of art) page associated with an edition and on every artist page associated with an edition (but minus the edition title).



In addition to the Πbar at the top, every object page and artist page includes a gray Πtoolbar further down the page. The features of this toolbar are outlined in the Πtoolbar section.

Navigating the site

NGA Online Editions home page

From wherever you are on the site, click on NGA Online Editions in the upper gray bar to get to the Πhome page. From there you may navigate by Edition, Author, or Artist.

Edition home page

Click the short title of the edition in the upper gray bar to go to the home page of that edition. From there select from the list of Artists or Works on the left, or choose other categories from either side column.


Object page

Access all Œ content for a particular work of art here—the scholarly entry, images, notes, artist’s biography, technical summary, and more. The default view is the Overview, a brief summary of the work’s importance.

From an object page, navigate to the artist page by clicking on the artist’s name, displayed in blue, or return to the Œ home page or to the edition’s home page by clicking on the appropriate title in the upper gray Œ bar.


Artist page

Navigate to the artist page from either the NGA Online Editions home page or the edition home page by making a selection under By Artist; from an object page click on the artist’s name, displayed in blue.

Here you will find the artist’s biography and bibliography. From this page, you may explore other works by the same artist, some of which may take you into the Gallery’s general collections and out of the Œ catalog you are exploring.



To search the entire NGA website from an Œ page, type a keyword into the search field at the top right. This leads you outside NGA Online Editions to a comprehensive search results page. To return to Œ, use your browser’s back button, or navigate back using the instructions in the Getting to the site section.

To search within a particular edition, type the name of an artist, work of art, or keyword into the search field in the Œ toolbar (where it says “search this Œ catalog”). Navigating the site from here will keep you within the designated edition.



The features of the Œ toolbar are Reader ModeCite, Export, Archived Version(s), and Search. Other features covered here are the Compare Images tool, available from Reader Mode, and Favorites, available from anywhere on

Reader Mode

Reader Mode allows the user to view text alongside a high-resolution image of the primary work of art, comparative images, or notes in a customized reading environment. Reader Mode is available only on object pages and is the singular means to view an object entry (Entry on the menu). It may be toggled on or off for viewing other components of an object entry, such as provenance and exhibition history.


Easily adjust the width of the left and right columns by sliding the vertical rule between them. The left column contains scrolling text and the right a choice of object image, figures, or notes. The primary object always remains in view at the top of the page.


Click the Cite button on either an object or artist page to produce a window with a preformatted citation for the content associated with that page. The citation is formatted according to the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, and includes a permanent URL and date of access. The text may be copied and pasted into another program.

The preformatted citation refers to the text on the day it is accessed. The surrounding elements (such as provenance, exhibition history, and bibliography) may be updated on a daily basis. Scheduled updates for entry text and biographies are planned at regular intervals, with archived versions available through the Œ toolbar.

Preformatted citations are also provided for entire editions by clicking the Cite button on each edition’s home page.

Similar citations also appear at the foot of the PDF for an object or artist. See Export section.

Export (PDF)

To print or download a PDF of an object or artist page, click the Export button in the Œ toolbar and then click Export in the window that opens. The PDF is then available to download or print.


From an object page, the PDF includes the object image and tombstone information, entry and notes, comparative images, provenance, exhibition history, bibliography, and technical summary. A preformatted citation appears at the foot of the PDF. (The Overview and Related Content are not included in the PDF.)

From an artist page, the PDF includes artist information and variant spellings, an image or self-portrait of the artist (if available), biography and notes, and a selected bibliography (if available). A preformatted citation appears at the foot of the PDF.

Archived Version(s)

Archived Version(s) may include an entire edition or single objects/artists, depending upon the page from which the user accesses them.

From the home page of an edition, click on Archived Version(s) to produce a window in which all versions of that catalog are listed by date of issue. Select a version to download or print the catalog in its entirety. A permanent URL will always return you to the selected version.


From an object page, click on Archived Version(s) to produce a window in which all versions of that particular object entry are listed by date of issue along with a link to a permanent URL for each version. Select a version to download or print.

From an artist page, click on Archived Version(s) to produce a drop-down window in which all versions of that particular biography are listed by date of issue along with a link to a permanent URL for each version. Select a version to download or print.

Other features

Compare Images

From an object entry, click the Compare Images link beneath any comparative image (or simply click on the image itself) to go to a split-screen image viewer. Here you may view any two images side by side. In the case of technical images, additional tools in the viewer allow for cross-fading, locked zooming, and measurement.

Image restrictions

While you may export and/or print an Œ catalog in whole or part, you are not otherwise authorized to reproduce, publish, or distribute comparative images that do not belong to the National Gallery of Art. For use of images in the Gallery’s collections, visit NGA Images.