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Henri Van De Waal (1910–1972)

Born in Rotterdam, van de Waal began his studies in 1929 at the University of Leiden, which was to be his academic home for the rest of his career. He received his Ph.D. in 1940 for a study on the seventeenth-century Batavian revolt. As a writer he is best known for his iconological study on three centuries of representing Dutch national history, Drie eeuwen vaderlandsche geschieduitbeelding 1500–1800: Een iconologische studie (The Hague, 1952), which, although ready for the printer in 1942, was not published until 1952 as the typescript was destroyed by the Germans during the occupation of the Netherlands. While interned in a prisoner of war camp, he began to formulate his theories on structuring a system for iconographic classification that eventually was called ICONCLASS and was published between 1973 and 1985. After the war van de Waal was named director of the University of Leiden's print room and was later made professor of art history there. His classification system is based on Panofsky's pre-iconographic and iconographic levels with nothing iconological in the structure. Factually based, it merges form and content and is now the most widely used iconographical classification system in the world.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Hydrazones to IncompatibilityIconography - Historical Development, Cesare Ripa (fl. 1593), Émile MÂle (1862–1954), Erwin Panofsky (1892–1968)