The Stag's Head

My Blog on Art, History and Crafts

Meaning to Symbols: A Creator’s Guide to Iconography

An Introduction

For a long time now, I have been very interested in iconography.  It is the idea that a subject  is actually symbolic of something else.  This subject can be an animal in a painting, a plant used by a character in a book, a colour worn by someone in a comic and so on.  My main interest in this subject started when I studied Art History at High School in New Zealand.  I had Iconography for a large amount of the year and one of the periods in History we concentrated on was Renaissance in Florence which was fascinating!  As I am an illustrator by profession, I like to use my knowledge of iconography to add extra meaning to my images.  Something that I discovered while researching iconography is that books, websites and other resources mainly base their databases on the analysers perspective:  all of the lists start with the subject and everything it can be symbolic of.  This of course is great if you’re wondering why there is a lamb in a painting but if you want to actually create an image representing sacrifice (for example) this can make your research a bit more difficult.  The fact that I haven’t found a database that is more concentrated on the creator opposed to the analyser is the reason why I have started this “Meaning to Symbol” section in my blog.  So whether you are simply interested in iconography or wish to add more meaning to your imagery please take a look through my database.

This project is only just starting so the database is not very large at the moment.  If there is a particular meaning you would like to know the symbols of, please feel free contact me.

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