Iconography

Iconography is the branch of art history which studies the identification, description, and the interpretation of the content of images. The word iconography literally means “image writing”, and comes from the Greek εἰκών “image” and γράφειν “to write”. A secondary meaning is the painting of icons in the Byzantine and Orthodox Christian tradition. Still in art history, an iconography may also mean a particular depiction of a subject in terms of the content of the image, such as the number of figures used, their placing and gestures. The term is also used in many academic fields other than art history, for example semiotics and media studies, and in general usage, for the content of images, the typical depiction in images of a subject, and related senses. Sometimes distinctions have been made between Iconology and Iconography, although the definitions and so the distinction made varies.

via Iconography – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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