Catalog raisonné

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Werkverzeichnisse (also work volumes ) are directories of the total work primarily by composers , writers , painters and architects .


Some catalogs of works were created during the artist's lifetime, others only after his death.

In the fine arts, the terms catalog raisonné , catalog raisonné , œuvre catalog and œuvre catalog are used synonymously. All works of a person are usually included in a catalog raisonné, even if they have not been preserved and / or can only be verified indirectly (e.g. through written sources).

Catalogs of works are not necessarily static, but are updated from time to time. B. if it turns out that a piece of music does not come from the assumed composer or if previously unknown works are found and the numbering is shifted. The same goes for the visual arts when here appear in retrospect paintings, either at the time of publication of the works were not known or vice versa, it turns out in retrospect that falsely one or more paintings were included in which it is counterfeit is . The best example of this is the catalog raisonné on Alexej von Jawlensky , for which there is now a third additional volume.

In most catalogs of works (often abbreviated as WVZ) the listed works are numbered; in academic literature the catalog of works is often only cited with the name of the author and the relevant number of the work.

Sometimes the system of numbering also enables the genre of the work to be identified, for example, if in a painter's catalog raisonné paintings are marked with a G in front of the number (e.g. G123), while drawings are marked with a Z, etc. If in a new work genre the numbering is again with 1 begins, newly emerged works can simply be inserted at the end of the relevant work genre without shifting the numbering of the next genre. This is particularly useful because the catalog raisonné numbers may have been quoted in other academic papers in the meantime, so if the numbers are shifted later, confusion is to be feared.


The more extensive list of works catalogs by composers can be found under List of works catalogs for music .


Catalogs of works in the visual arts are also referred to as catalogs of works, catalog raisonné , oeuvre catalog and oeuvre directory.


  • Ulrich Konrad : Catalogs of works as a central task of musicology . In: Haydn Studies XI, Heft 2, Munich 2017, pp. 179–186.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Series Bild und Wissenschaft, research contributions to the life and work of Alexej von Jawlensky ; Volume 3; Published by: Alexej von Jawlensky-Archiv AG, Locarno 2009 ISBN 88-89067-02-0