iconography

[ahy-kuh-nog-ruh-fee]
noun, plural iconographies.
1.
symbolic representation, especially the conventional meanings attached to an image or images.
2.
subject matter in the visual arts, especially with reference to the conventions regarding the treatment of a subject in artistic representation.
3.
the study or analysis of subject matter and its meaning in the visual arts; iconology.
4.
a representation or a group of representations of a person, place, or thing, as a portrait or a collection of portraits.

Origin:
1620–30; < Medieval Latin īconographia < Greek eikonographía. See icono-, -graphy

iconograph [ahy-kon-uh-graf, -grahf] , noun
iconographer, noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
iconography (ˌaɪkɒˈnɒɡrəfɪ)
 
n , pl -phies
1.  a.  the symbols used in a work of art or art movement
 b.  the conventional significance attached to such symbols
2.  a collection of pictures of a particular subject, such as Christ
3.  the representation of the subjects of icons or portraits, esp on coins
 
ico'nographer
 
n
 
iconographic
 
adj
 
icono'graphical
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

iconography

the science of identification, description, classification, and interpretation of symbols, themes, and subject matter in the visual arts. The term can also refer to the artist's use of this imagery in a particular work. The earliest iconographical studies, published in the 16th century, were catalogs of emblems and symbols collected from antique literature and translated into pictorial terms for the use of artists. The most famous of these works is Cesare Ripa's Iconologia (1593). Extensive iconographical study did not begin in Europe until the 18th century, however, when, as a companion to archaeology, it consisted of the classification of subjects and motifs in ancient monuments.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Essays on the iconography of seduction range from film to fashion.
We are inescapably surrounded by their culture, iconography and ideology.
Improved iconography for folders, collections, collection sets and output
  collections.
And of course there is the reaction to the current war that comes in the
  iconography.
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