Artportal Artist Search|
Artcyclopedia: Find an Artist.|
(search 8,700 important artists for works viewable online at art museums worldwide, plus image archives, commercial galleries, articles, etc.)
Artcyclopedia is the recommended starting place for researching famous or museum-collected artists. It covers mainly painters, sculptors and printmakers, with a lesser number of photographers, architects, illustrators and crafts artists. If the artist is not found there, here are several links to much more extensive lists of artists:
Union List of Artist Names (Getty ULAN). Basic info on over 100,000 artists.
Artfacts.net Artist Rankings. Over 100,000 artists listed, and ranked according to "professional attention" paid to them over the past 5 years.
Print Council of America Guide to Catalogues Raisonnés. Online edition of council's Index to Oeuvre-Catalogues of Prints by European and American Artists. Covers about 50,000 artists. (The actual catalogues are not online.)
Findartinfo Artist Search. Over 200,000 artists listed, and their search engine matches substrings and accepts wildcards. Good tool if you can't find the exact spelling of a name, or for playing around trying to identify a signature.
National Inventories and Databases|
Smithsonian Institution Art Inventories. Consisting of the Inventory of American Paintings Executed before 1914 and Inventory of American Sculpture. Data on hundreds of thousands of artworks in public and private collections worldwide. Searchable by artist and also by artwork title, subject, object type and owner.
Getty Provenance Databases Online. See especially the Public Collections Database, containing information about paintings in American and British institutions, by artists born before 1900.
Artists' Papers Register. A location register of the papers of artists, designers and craftspeople held in collections in the UK and Ireland.
Joconde Catalogue des Collections des Musées de France - artist list (in French)
RKDartists - The Netherlands Institute for Art History's Database of Dutch and Flemish Artists (available in English, or partially so; click the Union Jack icon)
Kunstindeks Danmark (Denmark Art Index)
Artists in Canada. Guide to further reference information from the Canadian Heritage Information Network.