Iconography

DEFINITION

A word with several meanings, one being a work of art that is composed of venerated symbols shared by a cultural group. An example would be the painting, "The Annunciation" by Jan Van Eyck (1385-1441). A second meaning is the study of images and symbols in works of art. The term Iconography is derived from the Greek, which translated to English means "story written out by symbols." Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms" (LPD)<br><br> Knowledge of the meanings to be attached to pictorial representations; perhaps the visual equivalent of symbols or metaphors in literature. An artist may be aware of his/her iconography and use it consciously; probably just as often, the iconography is used in a semi-conscious way. An artist will intuitively choose images because of meanings they have for him/her, and over the course of time a pattern can often be found, as a logical progression or repeating images. An artist can be said to have a personal iconography, which is often noted and analyzed by others, including art historians, critics, writers and the public. Often, the meanings seen in an artist&#39;s work by others differs, somewhat or considerably, from what the artist has intended.<br><br>Iconography is the pictorial representation of a subject, or the collected images (or icons) illustrating a subject ? pictures, diagrams, etc. Iconography can mean the description of representational works of art. Also, the study of subject matter and symbolism in the visual arts, as in collections of pictures constituting a complete visual record of a subject, or a visual dictionary.Semiotics includes studies of iconography, as well as studies of iconology and typology.Iconograph has been used to mean an engraving or other picture or illustration for a book. An iconographer is a maker of such images.(pr. i:&#39;cuh-nah"greh-fee)Also see crown, images, icon, iconogenitor, iconoplast, lexicon, plate, snake, symbol, taxis, and tradition.

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