Iconclass is a specialized library classification designed for art and iconography. It was originally conceived by Henri van de Waal and was further developed by a group of scholars after his death. It is currently maintained by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Iconclass is a collection of ready-made definitions of objects, persons, events, situations and abstract ideas that can be the subject of an image. Iconclass organizes iconography into 10 'main divisions', each containing hierarchically ordered definitions.
The main divisions of the Iconclass system are represented by digits 0 to 9. Of these ten 'main divisions', the numbers 1 to 5 are 'general' topics, designed to comprise all the principal aspects of what can be represented. Divisions 6 through 9 accommodate 'special' topics, coherent subject matter of a narrative nature, with an emphasis on the Bible (7) and Classical Mythology (9). A tenth division, represented by the number 0, was added in 1996 at the request of Iconclass users, to accommodate abstract art.