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Author: Erin Aldana
Understand iconography and how it is used as a tool in art historical analysis and interpretation.
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Michelangelo, Pieta, Creaative Commons Wikimedia,, Buddha and Bodhisattvas, Creative Commons Wikimedia,, Bronzino, Venus, Cupid, Time, and Folly, Creative Commons Wikimedia,

Terms to Know
Allegorical figure

A form of visual symbolism in which a human figure represents an abstract concept, like justice.


A type of visual symbolism. Christian iconography for instance, might make references to the biblical story of the nativity.


A figure of speech in which a word or concept stands for or represents another concept.


When an object in a painting represents something else. In Baroque paintings, a woman holding a mirror often symbolizes vanity.