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What Is Iconography? Definition, History And Facts

Iconography is a branch of science that deals with identification, description and interpretation of the content of the images. The terms comes from a Greek work called ikon that means image. An icon was originally used to denote to a picture of Christ on the panel used as an object of devotion in the orthodox Greek century. Therefore, the term icon is used to point to any object or image that is different and has a meaning behind it. Iconography is basically range or types of images by which an artist conveys particular meaning.

Some examples of iconography include lamb which means Christ and dove which represents Holy Spirit in the Christian religion. In history, iconography also means depiction of a particular subject through the content of an image such as the number of figures used, their gestures etc. It is also used in fields such as media studies and semiotics to depict the images of the subject and its related senses. William Blake developed a complex personal iconography to demonstrate his vision of man and God in the eighteenth century. The iconography of Pablo Picasso's work in the twentieth century was mostly autobiographical and Joseph Beuys used substances such as felt, fat and honey to illustrate his ideas about the life and society. Iconology and iconography are sometimes confuses even though the distinctions have been made between both the fields.

By: Neha Maheshwari



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