Iconography in a nutshell

The website outlining the use of icons in Romanesque art successfully highlighted the principals of effective icons and the groundwork for iconography. It was interesting to learn especially of their use of animals. Often ancient and imaginary beasts would be used to convey an image and to hold a weight of morality within the art medium. For example, Sirens were used as a symbol of female seduction while chimeras and harpies can represent forces of evil.

Of course, icons were not limited to the use of animals in Romanesque art. The evangelists were represented by a set of icons that became widely used as a reference to the four. The eagle became synonymous with John, the bull for Luke, the lion for Mark and the angel for Matthew. In effect, the icons were a way conveying a message universally almost in the same way that the creation of the written language sought to organize and document the vernacular in a universally recognizable fashion.

The use of icons of course would eventually lead to the advent of iconography. Soon art would be laden with imagery that would be universally recognizable and serve to popularize the artwork to the masses. Iconography would then allow art to convey a more complex set of messages that allowed art to become eventually the political and social soap-box that we find modern art to be. This would especially be true when the use of icons would become so prevalent that hidden messages would be interwoven into artwork.

Famous examples of this would be the painting Mérode Altarpiece in which there is much debate over the use of icons in the painting. Joseph is seen on the far right crafting a type of mouse trap that some believe to be the use of an everyday icon to convey a message that perhaps Christianity was crafted to an end as to “trap” the souls of the population into the religion. Others also believe the trap is meant to convey Christ’s trapping and defeat of Satan. Yet other theories also are mean to show Joseph crafting a type of wine tool used to reference the Eucharist and the passion of Christ.

Iconography arguably cemented the importance and survival of art throughout the modern ages. Art became less a thing of leisure to a medium through which political and social commentaries can be safely or blatantly portrayed in an art piece

The website outlining the use of icons in Romanesque art successfully highlighted the principals of effective icons and the groundwork for iconography. It was interesting to learn especially of their use of animals. Often ancient and imaginary beasts would be used to convey an image and to hold a weight of morality within the art medium. For example, Sirens were used as a symbol of female seduction while chimeras and harpies can represent forces of evil.

Of course, icons were not limited to the use of animals in Romanesque art. The evangelists were represented by a set of icons that became widely used as a reference to the four. The eagle became synonymous with John, the bull for Luke, the lion for Mark and the angel for Matthew. In effect, the icons were a way conveying a message universally almost in the same way that the creation of the written language sought to organize and document the vernacular in a universally recognizable fashion.

The use of icons of course would eventually lead to the advent of iconography. Soon art would be laden with imagery that would be universally recognizable and serve to popularize the artwork to the masses. Iconography would then allow art to convey a more complex set of messages that allowed art to become eventually the political and social soap-box that we find modern art to be. This would especially be true when the use of icons would become so prevalent that hidden messages would be interwoven into artwork.

Famous examples of this would be the painting Mérode Altarpiece in which there is much debate over the use of icons in the painting. Joseph is seen on the far right crafting a type of mouse trap that some believe to be the use of an everyday icon to convey a message that perhaps Christianity was crafted to an end as to “trap” the souls of the population into the religion. Others also believe the trap is meant to convey Christ’s trapping and defeat of Satan. Yet other theories also are mean to show Joseph crafting a type of wine tool used to reference the Eucharist and the passion of Christ.

Iconography arguably cemented the importance and survival of art throughout the modern ages. Art became less a thing of leisure to a medium through which political and social commentaries can be safely or blatantly portrayed in an art piece

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