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The branch of art history that deals with the description, analysis, and interpretation of icons or iconic representations.

i·con′o·log′i·cal (ī-kŏn′ə-lŏj′ĭ-kəl) adj.
i′co·nol′o·gist n.


1. (Art Terms) the study or field of art history concerning icons
2. icons collectively
3. (Eastern Church (Greek & Russian Orthodox)) the symbolic representation or symbolism of icons
iconological adj
ˌicoˈnologist n


(ˌaɪ kəˈnɒl ə dʒi)

the study of icons or symbolic representations.
i•con•o•log•i•cal (aɪˌkɒn lˈɒdʒ ɪ kəl) adj.


1. the study of images.
2. iconography. — iconologist, n. — iconological, adj.
See also: Images
the description, history, and analysis of symbolic art or artistic symbolism, especially that of the late medieval and Renaissance periods. Also called iconography. — iconologist, n. — iconological, adj.
See also: Art
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.iconology - the branch of art history that studies visual images and their symbolic meaning (especially in social or political terms)
art history - the academic discipline that studies the development of painting and sculpture
References in periodicals archive ?
Another approach is Iconology, the study of visual symbols: how certain images or motifs convey meaning, how they are transmitted or transformed within or across cultures and time.
Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend the unveiling of a discovery that 'will change the face of science forever'.
Among her topics are Archimedean points: monuments as duration reservoirs, forms and figures: two fundamental modes of pictorial production, iconological space: Panofsky with Warburg, the figural synthesis of historical reality in the iconology table, and figural content and the past as a res extensa.
In contrast, iconological studies of the image examine the political and ideological structure of representation (Mitchell, Iconology 2).
Despite this series of disappointments and Meyer-Baer's continued lack of a permanent position, she continued to publish prolifically, including her last book Music of the Spheres and the Dance of Death: Studies in Musical Iconology (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1970); a peer reviewer lauded its interdisciplinary nature, as it "makes contributions to the history of art, music, literature, religion, and philosophy" (p.
Worthy nods to the art historical methods of iconology were provided by Aby Warburg's unfinished 1929 'Mnemosyne' picture atlas project, images of which were placed around one of the central gallery spaces.
Across the hall in a separate exhibition space, the video Bobby Jesus's Alma Mater b/w Reading the Book of David and/or Paying Attention Is Free, 2013, aligned text with a sprawling iconology drawn from Stark's personal life, alongside rap lyrics and art-historical allusions.
The conference seeks to explore and discuss recent development in the dialogue between theology, art history, philosophy and cultural theory concerning the ways people can perceive and interpret icons, iconography and iconology.
It is worth noting that Panofsky's reflections on iconology deal largely with the art of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, when visual art almost always had an allegorical dimension.
As Wilmott observes, "[t]his is a cross-writing tradition in two ways: formally, in its roots in what has been called caricature, understood as an iconography or kind of style, and thematically, in what I will call its animalization, understood as an iconology or vehicle for ideas" (98).
Robert Langdon -- now immortalised by Tom Hanks -- is a professor of religious iconology and symbology at Harvard University and has been the central character of Brown's last four works of fiction, which have generated a fair bit of controversy, too.