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Events from the year 1619 in art.

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  • ✪ Understanding Art with Iconography | Art Terms | LittleArtTalks
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Hey guys it's Karin, welcome to Little Art Talks! Today let's talk about iconography. In art work, the iconography is the imagery. It's the visual images and symbols in it. It can also refer to the study or interpretation of these images, focusing on the meaning given by a particular range or system chosen by the artist. This means it refers to source texts found outside the art work. The meaning is derived from what is depicted, dependent on things outside of the artwork, rather than things inside the artwork - like form, style, color, etc. Obviously those things are still very important to the meaning of the painting, but when you're reading with an iconographic lens, you're focusing on the relationship between these images or icons and the source text outside. The term comes from the Greek word ikon, meaning image. An icon originally referred to a picture of Christ on a panel, used as an object of devotion in the orthodox Greek Church from at least the 7th century on. So, the term is used for any object or image that has some special meaning attached to it. The definition might be a little confusing, so let me give you an example. In a Christian religious painting, they have their own set of iconography, for example the lamb, which represents Christ, or the dove, which represents the Holy Spirit. Classical myth has it’s own set of iconography, for example, a woman accompanied by a dove would suggest the goddess Aphrodite or Venus. So the meaning of particular images is dependent on context. Iconography can also be very personal. Eighteenth century poet and painter William Blake invented a complex personal iconography to illustrate his vision of man and God. The iconography of Pablo Picasso is mostly autobiographical, and Joseph Beuys developed an iconography of substances such as felt, fat and honey, to express his ideas about life and society. Because meaning is derived from previously established relationships, Iconographic analysis is best suited to things like ancient, medieval, and Renaissance art - art and objects that are informed by classical mythology and Christian doctrine. An example of what doesn't work as well with iconographical analysis is modern art. Because these artists are often the ones to challenge this presumption of an illustrational relationship between image and text. So they did a bunch of things like abstraction, chance, found or readymade objects that kind of screw with the system. I hope this video helped you better understand iconography. And if you enjoyed it, please give it a thumbs up and subscribe to Little Art Talks for more videos on art history. Thanks so much for watching, and I'll see you guys next time.





Nicholas Hilliard self-portrait (1577)
Nicholas Hilliard self-portrait (1577)


This page was last edited on 26 April 2015, at 06:58
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