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Understanding Iconography

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 560
  • Category: Art

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An artist can create art work through a creative process. An element of this process is critical thinking. Artists’ creativity process begins with seeing. It then goes from seeing to imagining and from imagining to making (Sayre, 2009). This essay will provide an explanation of artists’ roles. The essay will also include two chosen works of art, one of which embodies the role of the artist and the other holds symbolic significance requiring the application of iconography. Roles of Artists

Many artists enjoy exploring new ideas and concepts and creating them. Most artists think of themselves in one or more of the roles when approaching their art work. First, artists believe they are helping people to see the world in new and innovative ways. Secondly, they believe they are making a visual record of places, people, and events of their time and place (Sayre, 2009). Third, they are making functional objects and buildings more pleasurable and giving them meaning, and finally, artists believe they are giving form to immaterial ideas and things (Sayre, 2009). First Chosen Art Work

The first art work chosen was a figure by Myron of Athens, Discobolous. The Discobolous, a Discus Thrower, is a Roman marble copy after a bronze original of 450 BCE. A picture of this piece is shown below, figure 1. This piece of art work is simply amazing and exemplifies the Greek sense of harmony and balance (Petronius, 2008). The artist depicted the statutes of that time, a male nude figure, which seems to express freedom of movement and the Greeks idea of beauty. Furthermore, this artwork exemplifies the role of the artist through a representation of human strength and values. Figure 1. Myron of Athens, Discobolous

Second Art Work

After reviewing a number of art works, the second art work chosen is by Fra Andrea Pozzo between 1691-94 in Saint Ignazio, Rome and is a ceiling fresco Triumph of St. Ignatius of Loyola. This piece was done in an artistic style that was prevalent during the 16th to the early 18th century, Baroque. Baroque art possess qualities such as drama, richness, realism, emotionality, and an illusion of motion. A picture of this piece is listed below, figure 2. The painting portrays the image of an open sky with angels and saints descending. The naked eye cannot detect the difference in the painting and architect in this piece of Baroque art (Web Museum, 2002). The artist has created an inspiring atmosphere portraying a heavenly environment, which can evoke spirituality, feelings, and inspiration among visitors. Figure 2. Triumph of St. Ignatius Loyola, 1691-94, Ceiling Fresco Conclusion

Through creative process, which involves critical thinking, artists can provide people with a different way of looking at the visual world. This makes art priceless.


Sayre, H. M. (2009). A world of art (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Prentice Hall.

Orazio Gintarro’s Art Images on the Web, (2009). Image: (figure 1) Myrone; Works

Gallery. Retrieved November 13, 2010, from www.ocaiw.com/galleria_maestri/image

Petronius, S. (2008). Diskobolos. Retrieved on November 13, 2010, from



The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (2008). Baroque Period: Image, (figure 2). In Heilbrunn

Timeline of Art History. New York. Retrieved November 13, 2010, from


Web Museum. (2002). Baroque. Retrieved on November 13, 2010 from


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