The layout depends on what you are doing. To show a series of images you can often use GridLayout, specifying the number of rows or the number of columns as desired. GridBagLayout works well when you know how many columns you want; these can be controlled with the gridwidth field. Once you retrieve your images from the database you can make a loop to create a JLabel with ImageIcon containing the next image and add it to the parent panel. For a 5–column GridBagLayout you could try something like
You can put the panel in a JScrollPane, if desired.