The Lute Society: Lute Iconography Database

Lute Iconography Database (LuteIDB)

The Lute Iconography Database (LuteIDB) is an online resource for lute makers, scholars, players and others interested in the iconography of the lute. It contains over 2700 iconographic entries depicting lutes including oil paintings, carvings, frescos and so on, that have survived. These are gathered together as a resource for the community and now available online.

Go to The Lute Iconography Database

History of LuteIDB

  • The original version of LuteIDB was developed by David Van Edwards with additional submissions from other contributors. This original version was created using FileMaker Pro. The overwhelming majority of entries in LuteIDB are a result of David’s extensive work over many years to collect and classify the iconography of the lute. His work has created a fascinating resource that will be of use by a wide range of researchers interested in the history of the lute.
  • In 2018 Luke Emmet moved the database online so that a wider range of viewers and participants could benefit and contribute to its ongoing evolution. This version used the YouTrack System by JetBrains.
  • Feb 2022 LuteIDB was re-implemented as a JavaScript application within the Lute Society's website, and updated with more images:


LuteIDB is a scholarly resource and we aim to provide attribution and references to the original images where known. Please contact the maintainers listed below if you have any issues relating to copyrighted material held or referenced in LuteIDB - we aim to fix any problems quickly.

New submissions

If you find a new image of a lute that you have established is not already in the database, we would be pleased to add a new entry.

  • First, check the image is not already in the database by searching for its name or current location. Most of the well-known and many of the lesser known images already have their own entries.
  • If it is a new image, you can then send details to David.

Contact information

  • Images and copyright queries: David Van Edwards
  • Technical queries: Luke Emmet

Using the LuteIDB

Basic overview of the site

The default view is a listing of the entries in the database.

If you hover over the title or artist name you will see a preview the image. Click on the link to navigate to see the full entry.


To search, simply type into the search box at the top of each page. This searches across all attributes.

Attribute search

You can also search individual columns and combine them. The results will be filtered as you type.

Sharing search results or individual entries

As you search the listings, the page URL is updated with the filter query. To share a listing with other parties, simply copy the page URL and share. Individual entries have their own URL which can also be shared.



Individual entry