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Example of Iconography

The study of icons, symbols and their meanings. The term in common usage usually refers to religiously related iconography. However, iconography is also in some ways a form of language and cultural study, particularly in archaeology. Many languages, particularly ancient languages are strongly based on religious or cultural concepts which are represented as icons. Understanding the iconography promotes understanding of the languages and cultures. In the arts, 'iconography' is the study of subjects, or use of subjects, rather than artistic style.

Examples of Iconography:

Manga iconography is a classic example of modern iconography, where various symbols in manga comics have given meanings, creating a visual sub-language.

Image Example of Iconography:

A painting with complex iconography: Hans Memling's so-called seven joys of the virgin - in fact this is a later title for a life of the virgin cycle on a single panel. Altogether 25 scenes, not all involving the virgin, are depicted. 1480, alte pinakothek, munich.

Holbein's the ambassadors is a complex work whose iconography remains the subject of debate.