Artists and artworks

How to research artists and art works. Locating reproductions and recent art sales by artists.


There are a range of sources for biographical information. For tips on researching exhibitions visit the Exhibitions tab. Exhibition catalogues often contain biographical information or can help in constructing biographical details of an artist.

In print

There are a range of biographical sources. There are also biographies on specific artists. 

Search the catalogue under an artist's names for books on that artist.

  • for instance Claude Monet.
  • add exhibition* or biography or criticism for different aspects of an artists work. (The asterisk* will search for multiple endings of words, for example exhibition and exhibitions)

The resources listed below will assist in finding lower profile artists, where a full biographical book has not been written. The German language items have been included because they are such extensive and detailed references.

For non German speakers these items may confirm the name and dates of a lesser known artist where no other information can be located.


The Internet is a good source for biographical information on artists. Do a general search on an artist's name using a search engine.

Be aware that web sites are not always reliable.

The Library subscribes to the databases below. They are available in the Library and can be accessed offsite by registered Victorian users.

Article search

To find online articles quickly, choose the Articles option from the drop down list next to the search box. The search box is at the top of any page of our website, including this guide.

Once you have executed the search use the options at left of the screen to narrow your search. The example here is a search for Australian artist Frederick McCubbin. Including the word art* will narrow you search to find any words starting with art, like artist or artwork.

Australian artists

Arts databases

See these databases containing a wide range of information on art and artists. Most require a Victorian registration for access.

Catalogue raisonne

A catalogue raisonné is usually a complete record of an artist's works.

For prolific artists a catalogue raisonné may concentrate on a particular type of art (for instance sculpture; painting), a time period, or a style.

A search on Picasso catalogue raisonné will retrieve catalogues reflecting a complete record of different aspects of the artist's work.

A search on Chardin catalogue raisonné will retrieve a single publication.

Search using an artist's name and the phrase 'catalogue raisonne' to see whether the Library holds a catalogue raisonné for the artist.


Newspapers can be a wonderful source of information on artists and exhibitions.

For example the Trove Australian digitised newspapers and more database can be used to find an obituary of Queensland artist and teacher C.E Astley.

Table talk

Some specific newspapers and magazines have significant arts coverage.

Table Talk was a magazine that was published in Melbourne from 1885 to 1939. It has been digitised and made available online on Trove. 

The magazine specialised in theatre, painting, music and all the arts and has a regular Art & Artists column.

For example we can easily find items on Arthur Loureiro, a Portuguese painter who lived in Melbourne for twenty years (1884-1904).

Newspaper databases

Our Library subscribes to a wide range of current and historic Australian and international newspapers. They are available in the Library and many can be accessed offsite by registered Victorian users.

La Trobe Journal

For artists from Victoria or artworks within our Library collection there may be articles in the La Trobe Journal.

The full text  can be searched from the La Trobe Journal page on our website.

The search box is at top right. There is also a link to Advanced search.

La Trobe Journal front cover No 64 Spring 1999