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On former talk, see Archive.

van Gogh Cleanup Project '08...Edit

First of allEdit

This is a "work-in-progress" since october, which to some extent was delayed for lack of constructive feedback. This section was created to start brainstorming before doing major changes to sub-categories and, mainly, to file descriptions and filenames, but such brainstorming did rarely happen here: For many people, this site was just too huge to read it. There was however sufficiant feedback from people I asked either per their talk pages or per mail -- which imo is exactly what should be avoided. Bad luck. Wolfgang (talk) 09:01, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

For contributing to the project, please...

  1. add your comments and suggestions to existing topics.
  2. in case, you have to add some idea for a not yet existing topic, please consider to create a sub-heading to an already existing major heading or, after having added text by using the "+"-tab, allow any contributor to move your contribution to the most appropriate place.
  3. in case, some topic seems sufficiently discussed, please mark its sub-heading by   Done (by pasting {{Done}} there).

Thanks, Wolfgang (talk) 09:01, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Deutsch: Bequemlichkeitshalber, und auch um Missverständnisse hintanzuhalten, sind deutschsprachige Anmerkungen+Vorschläge selbstverständlich höchst willkommen. Ich werde mich bemühen, dazu kurze Zusammenfassungen en:SHORTLY zu erstellen, damit Konversationen auch für Nicht-Deutschsprachige nachvollziehbar bleiben. Sollten dabei Fehler oder Missverständnisse auftreten, bitte gleich selber korrigieren.
Français : Je vais faire mon mieux pour répondre des contributions en Français.

La langue principale à Commons est l'Anglais, bien sûr. Cependant, j'irais faire mon mieux de traduire, de façon abbrevé, l'essentiel d'une conversation pour permettre aux fr=0 de la suivre: en:SHORTLY. Amitiés,

Wolfgang (talk) 09:01, 7 December 2008 (UTC)


This cleanup was started because common's collection of van Gogh images is un-encyclopedic, as it...

  1. focuses on the most popular pieces, and mainly on those fancy oil paintings, but awfully lacks the balance with the draftsmanship which however is the bigger part of this artists oeuvre.
  2. is highly redundant -- two or three images of same painting are seen more than once, and up to five versions were found
  3. did not show up in any order, which might have been a major reason for creating multiples
  4. was/still is badly described.
  5. is, as-is, too huge to be overlooked "at reasonable expense".

As a remedy, I ...

  1. started creating subcategories, unfortunately without being very much aware about naming conventions. It would be nice to have, in the future, talk about such before moving categories.
  2. created a table of content, based on those subcategories, which shows up at the top of the category page.
  3. tried to design sensitive filenames.
    The renowned Yorck project, by just counting totally arbitrary uploads, created this mess, and will do the same in any other huge category. On this I totally disagree with user:Gryffindor, who had "arranged" the above quoted category moves without talking to me, although I had already addressed him by mail. I was not aware at that time that there was ongoing escalation in the relationship between EN and DE speakers (rather: admins), on commons.
  4. tried to slightly improve on template:Painting and on the multilingual templates to be used with, where there unfortunately is hardly any feedback either, in general (few exceptions, as can be seen on talk pages).

Priority list, as of October 2008, wasEdit

First: "Perfect" filenames? See #Talk on File names --Wolfgang (talk) 08:47, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

I was convinced that files must be renamed first to be able to find out duplicates before doing new file descriptions. Only after I by chance talked to Magnus Manske, I learned that Template:Defaultsort does what is needed, which is, to bring all files in the category to reasonable order (I for myself do it ~chronologically). Eversince, there is no more need of renaming.

Second: Without being able to browse categories for file descriptions of all files "at-once", it would practically not be manageable to do multilingual file descriptions, as different files from same painting are often described in different languages which I do not speak, but which should be implemented in the description of the piece of art, as far as practicable. M. Manske created an adequate tool.   Done

Third: An additional line for unique identifiers was added to Template:Painting,   Done by Mike.lifeguard; Dschwen helped by creating collapsible multilingual Technique tag sample, which can be adapted for other multilingual fields. Magnus Manske helps with something similar for the field "Gallery", which due to an error in my request is not yet perfect. Thanks everybody, and sorry, Magnus, for possibly having waisted your time on thisone.


as of 03:33, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

First:   Done - Identify all items in the category and apply defaultsort. Although this is in progress, it will take a few more days, depending on quality of existing file descriptions. Few uploaders were intelligent enough to add one of the catalogue raisonné identifiers which are available since decades.

Sorry to admit that I'm unable to identify all items. It is just too disappointing to possibly search hours for identifying a single low resolution file which was uploaded within a minute by someone who did not take the effort to describe it sufficiantly to be identified.
Such should will be categorized Category:Van Gogh files kept in doubt, where anybody can lookup them and help in identifying and describing. Happy editing! Wolfgang 05:27, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
For categorizing such file, use {{VG doubt}} as follows:
{{VG_doubt|Give a reason, link if possible to an alternative file which is less doubtful, sign ~~~~}} at the top of the file description page. See quoted "in doubt"-category for more information. Wolfgang 07:58, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Second: Evaluate "duplicates": This is not easy in most cases, as
a) colour in most cases seriously differs, and so does
b) file size: the bigger files from photographs taken by wikipedians are quite often of poor colour.

This is not to discourage anybody from photographing in a museum, but be aware that more often than not, light conditions there will disallow good reproduction. In the Albertina, e.g., we had app. 1/20s at open aperture, ISO 2000 ;)
Whilst doing step_2, there might emerge some ideas on improving on {{Painting}}, which I'd diskuss at the appropriate talk page (where there is approximately as much traffic as here ;) -- feedback would be welcome. Work in progress, as of now. Wolfgang 07:58, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Third: Check file descriptions and overwrite as far as practicable by improved ones. As far as I see now, I can be happy to accomplish that by christmas eve. Wolfgang (talk) 09:01, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Subcategories as of 20081207Edit

Category:Van Gogh Works by DateEdit

with sub-sub-categories:

These are just filled with a few samples. They will be completed when applying new file descriptions.

Category:Van Gogh Image ThemesEdit

with sub-sub-categories:

Besides I-for-myself do feel that these "themes" should rather be galleries than categories, which obviously were created because in the mess of the "van Gogh" category one would hardly have found at all those items.

Category:Van Gogh CollectionsEdit

Thisone was as well created to help with cleanup.

As Category:Paintings in the Van Gogh Museum had spoiled vG with "false friends", I first created "Category:Van Gogh Works in the...X Museum" for disliking to categorize sketches, drawings and grafic work as "paintings". Due to naming conventions, the 4 categories I created that style were renamed to "Paintings by...", which is not really wrong, as at this time they do contain ~99% paintings. I however feel that in many cases it would be sufficiant to put everything into one category "Work" or "Artwork", depending on which is better English. The more detailed categorization might be useful for the two major van Gogh collections. This category therefore contains, as of 09:01, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Category:Van Gogh MuseumEdit

(They own some 800+ van Gogh pieces, including the letter sketches which are catalogized, without counting letters they hold.) Category:Collections of the Van Gogh Museum [1]

As there is no such category like "Drawings in the vgM",

Category:Kröller-Müller MuseumEdit

(They show or own some 256 van Gogh pieces.)

Category:Artwork in the Kröller-Müller Museum[2]

  • There is also a "category:Sculptures..." in this museum, and I created one additional "category:Other..." for items which do not fit into any of the existing categories. See #On Museum's categories.

Further similar categoriesEdit

On exhibition-category: Being the second largest vG show ever, and the most enlightening on the whole oeuvre, (the largest, centennial Amsterdam 1990, had focused on painting, whilst the centennial 1990 in quite distant Otterlo had focused on draftsmanship) it might be useful to keep it. It anyways will help to design the projected gallery pages (which might take a few weeks) and might be removed by a bot, afterwards. Wolfgang (talk) 04:13, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Category:Van Gogh-related ImagesEdit

(contains photographs and other possibly relevant stuff which was not created by v.G. himself or which hardly would be needed as "Van Gogh picture" (I nowhere found a note that Vincent ever created any *.svg of his signature, for instance). Imo, such is plain nonsense, if not even quoting from which painting that artefact was created.

Category:Van Gogh files kept in doubtEdit

See #Template:Van Gogh file kept in doubt (Former suggestion was "Category:Superseded van Gogh files", which was less than perfect.)


Template:Van Gogh file kept in doubt   DoneEdit

  • Name should rather be {{Van Gogh file kept in doubt}} or {{VG doubt}}.
    • Usage:
      {{VG_doubt|Give a reason, and possibly an alternative file which meets better wikipedia's quality criteria. Your edit will be signed with ~~~~.}}
  • Adds tagged pages to Category:Van Gogh files kept in doubt.
  • Request on still misseing features shows up in the template itself, by hidden text.
  • Outdated request from here follows as hidden text. 05:01, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Template:X_Museum   DoneEdit


  1. Thisone should display as a dropdown.
  2. It should link to the museum category on COM
  3. It should for sure be editable to allow multilinguality (especially in arab and asiatic fonts)
  4. It should allow interwik-links to museums articles on respective wikis.

I regret that I had asked Magnus to design something that "automatically" tags the museum category (sample: {{Kröller-Müller Museum}}), but meanwhile I am quite sure that such might cause more confusion than profit. Although Magnus' design allows to specify a category for each single use of this template (that, e.g., the template would categorise "|1=Category:Painting by van Gogh in the X_Museum"), such would be exactly the same effort for the first editor as to categorize the usual way, but it would be less clearly visible to most later editors.

Therefore, something like the multilingual "dropdown" by Dschwen (sample: {{Oil on canvas}}) might do a better job: Even I was able to edit thatone properly, in one case, at least ;) Wolfgang (talk) 05:40, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

And here it is: {{Van Gogh Museum}}. In case one could make the multilingual translations clickable with little effort, please do so, to make it look somewhat smarter (I can't). Or, if it could be arranged that translation+interwiki link share one same line on the dislplay. I also am unable to link to the COM-category without getting an ugly display -- in case such can be done, I please invite whomever. Please do not give instructions which I probably won't understand,: just go ahead and do it. Wolfgang (talk) 04:23, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Forgot about one thing: Someone experienced might properly categorize this baby. Wolfgang (talk) 04:28, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

To be checked / properly categorizedEdit

  1. {{Van Gogh Museum}} [somewhat outdated, imo, kept for comparison and possible talk.]
    {{VGM}} (imo best way to do shorter lists, up to now. One column).
  2. {{Kröller-Müller Museum}}[was self-categorizing, thereby created (imo) "troubles" too often. turned into redirect to tl|KMM, as of 23 December]
    {{KMM}} (trial to possibly improve on VGM display, but seems less satisfying (imo).
  3. {{HER}} 20 December 2008 was VGM-style -- turned into two-column on Dec. 23.
  4. {{MdO}} 21 December 2008 HER-style
  5. {{MASP}} 22 December 2008 HER-style

Note: At this time, I feel that a 2-column display generally might be most satisfying for such (at least, if there are more than ~10 items in the dropdown). Opinions? Wolfgang 06:01, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

Other new "Fold~" multilingual templatesEdit

(Should be checked by more experienced users)

for "Location="
  1. {{NYC}} 23 December 2008 (~{{Amsterdam}} style,otherwise "stuck" closely to the model, it will be properly categorized.) Opinions? Wolfgang 06:01, 23 December 2008 (UTC))
Painting/techniques{{Oil on cardboard}} in{{O_c style}}, but 2 columns. 07
08, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Other{{Self-portrait}} (soon to come ;)

Translation: Help neededEdit

On my en:SHORTLY:Edit

These quick-and-dirty translations will be done to give de=0 or fr=0 readers an approximate idea what the talk was about. If any de- or fr-contributors feel mis-interpreted, they are PLEASE invited to edit any of my "SHORTLY"-translations. Thanks. --W. (talk) 09:20, 30 October 2008 (UTC) (+fr) --W. (talk) 13:25, 31 October 2008 (UTC)


Note: even if I'd delete this category, I would move the text to the gallery page I'd like to create, so, this is no waist of time.Wolfgang (talk) 10:19, 7 December 2008 (UTC) Priority=LOW.
  • For the content of the museum, I meanwhile suggest something neutral like "Category:Collection(s) of X_Museum" or, maybe, "Category:X_Museum's collections". No need for terms like art or artwork, generally. Priority=HIGH. Wolfgang (talk) 06:14, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Draftsmanship is the best word I found for all drawings, etchings, graphic & mixed media in van Gogh's case. Are there any objections? This should be represented by some 3-5 dozen additional samples which I'd upload, to get a less POV view on this artist. Priority=HIGH. Wolfgang (talk) 06:14, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Albertina2008 catalogueEdit

I meanwhile use both the en- and de-editions and think this book might "rule" for a while on aspects which were, at least by expositions, unsufficiantly presented up to now:

  • Heartfelt Lines, en-ISBNs 978-3-8321-9133-7 and 978-3-8321-9158-0 (cheaper museum edition); some 450 pages on 140 exposed items, and at least 150 more, because quite many of the items desirable for the exhibition were not lent by their owners. It is edited by Klaus Albrecht Schröder, Heinz Widauer (both: Albertina), Sjaar van Heugten and Marije Vellekoop (VGM), with articles by Teio Meedendorp (Kröller-Müller), Fred Leeman and Martin Bailey. It publishes most recent research data on the Van Gogh Museum's items which otherwise would not be published before 2009.
  • Gezeichnete Bilder is the German version, de-ISBNs 978-3-8321-9125-2.


File namesEdit

  • How about creating "close-to-be-perfect" filenames on v.Gogh-Pics?
    At this time, I think that a file name sorting "by itself" by date and location (where the oeuvre was created) would do best. For my personal "collection" of some 600 (gathered from www, to display the 140 of the Albertina Exhibition plus relevant ones which could not be shown but appear in the catalog, plus quite a few more -- none of which is uploaded to COM up to now), I'd use e.g.
van Gogh 1888-04--1888-05, Arles - Peach Tree in Blossom F_404 JH_1391.jpg, which means,
v.Gogh -- date, location created -- English title of the picture
Furthermore the F_ and JH_ catalog numbers as sole perfect identifiers (work's titles are quite arbitrary, and their translations are even more arbitrary). For the #Albertina2008 catalogue items, I'd crosscheck with the catalogue. For others, I'd compare CCoW and vGG data. --Wolfgang (talk) 10:29, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

File descriptionsEdit

To show what I want file descriptions to look like, and to possibly get feedback ASAP, I described the following files the "non-dirty" way:

On Museum's categoriesEdit

For museums where wikipedia does not expect much contribution in near future, "category:X_Museum", no sub-cats, might do the job "for everything". In case, the museum (building) itself is of some interest and is documented, it might be useful to create some subcategory for its content, like "Collection of ..." or, maybe, "X_Museum's collections"[2] would fit to any museum, I think.

Only if the content becomes too huge (Van Gogh and Kröller-Müller are examples), those quoted subcategories like "Sculptures", "Drawings", whatever, are needed. If such are used, ...

  • "category:X_Museum" should just contain files which describe the museum, not its collection's items.
  • the paternal "category:Collection..." should not contain anything but sub-categories. Wolfgang (talk) 04:44, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
I recently did so for VGM, creating Category:Collections of the Van Gogh Museum.[2] Please, do comment or do not. In case there are no objections here within 48 hrs I'd do same with any appropriate collection I might come across. I really run short of time due to lack of feedback on this page. Wolfgang (talk) 05:03, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. See #On Museum's categories.
  2. a b c d Due to my less than perfect English, I often do not feel able to create first rate names, and I highly dislike creating categories without having talked about to en=4 writers. These should however be adult persons who are aware of problems which might occur when naming and categorizing museum's objects. Please see #Translation: Help needed on my requests.


  • und (when referring to thisone, I might call it vGG soetimes. Gives size of works-of-art and is endorsed by Van Gogh Museum (VGM).)
  • (I call it CCoW, Complete Catalog of Works) lists some 2138 items (including letter sketches) in one table, but does not give size of works-of-art. Its [almost] complete table is, more comfortable and quicker to look-up, but they cheat on LaFaille number regarding letter sketches: The "F" they declare are Numbers of letters, no LaFaille-IDs. So, in some such cases I might have forgotten to correct when I "borrowed" from their list.)
  • Both give De la Faille and Jan Hulsker ID-numbers, so, comparison is boring but simple.--W. (talk) 09:29, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
  • In the very improbable case that anyone knows something even more detailed which is available online, please note it here.

More TalkEdit

Note: If you added text here, e.g. by using the "+"-tab, please allow any contributor to move your contribution to a more appropriate section of this page, in case such is possible. --W. (talk) 05:53, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

More work to addEdit

Thanks. I did not look here for a while, becaus of
  1. usually little traffic
  2. trying to explore the "surround" part of vG's oeuvre, like Émile Bernard or Hubert von Herkomer (there are a few more, e.g. Millet, Delacroix, Gauguin, ...). Are you aware that there are explicitely noted some 1100 pieces-of-art in ~874 known vG letters?
So, for "as long as heaven would not fall on our heads" [my private en-tranlation of Majestix's favourite saying] I might turn back here, every now-and-then.
) [w.] 18
44, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Gallery of all images in the subcategories of "Vincent van Gogh"Edit

Ich kann diese Seite nicht öffnen. Woran liegt es?––Oursana (talk) 10:54, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Early period 1883 and beforeEdit

Hi everyone. I'm working in this category at the moment. Mostly I want to better record his minor works, especially his drawings this period. Anything I do you don't agree with don't hesitate to let me know. Jennie Matthews 97 (talk) 06:23, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

Return to "Vincent van Gogh" page.