Glossary

What is Iconography?

Iconography refers to the study and interpretation of visual symbols, icons, and images, particularly within the context of art history, religious studies, and cultural analysis. It involves the analysis and understanding of the symbolic meaning and significance of various visual elements, such as figures, objects, colors, and compositions.


Iconography encompasses a wide range of fields, including religious iconography, where the study focuses on the symbols and representations of deities, saints, and religious events in various traditions and cultures. It also extends to secular iconography, which examines the symbolism found in non-religious art, such as historical, mythological, or allegorical subjects.


In addition to art history and religious studies, iconography is utilized in fields like anthropology, literature, film studies, and advertising to analyze the visual symbols and their intended messages. It helps scholars and researchers understand the cultural, historical, and ideological contexts in which these symbols are created and interpreted.


Iconography often involves decoding and interpreting the visual language employed by artists and understanding the cultural conventions associated with particular symbols or motifs. By studying iconography, researchers can gain insights into the beliefs, values, and ideas of societies and individuals throughout history.


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Indian Art & Culture- Highlighting History And Evolution

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