Every good painter paints what he is. Jackson Pollock
When we analyze a painting for its symbolism we call it Iconographic Analysis.
Sometimes symbols just “float up” when an artist works:
And sometimes it’s done deliberately:
A vanitas painting is a kind of still life designed to remind us of the vanity, or frivolous quality of human existence.
A memento mori is a reminder that life is fleeting. In Latin it means “remember you must die.”
Let’s try to analyze some of our own. Be mindful of two things:
- Symbols change with time and culture.
- We bring ourselves to the work.