Art History – Categories of Iconography

Art history is the study of visual expression, aesthetic objects, and historical context. The history of art can be traced back to pre-historic times to contemporary times. Those interested in art history can learn about the many types of works and the significance of the various artists. You can also learn about the influences of the art world, and how they shaped the world around us. Listed below are some of the main categories of art history. Let’s take a closer look at each.


Iconography is a branch of art history that examines the meaning behind art works. The approach is based on observations of the objects that are analyzed. It may involve extensive historical research and the reference of authoritative secondary sources. The process of iconographic analysis often involves more than one interpretation of the work, with different interpretations addressing different aspects of its meaning and historical context. Here are the main categories of iconography. To understand iconography, first define what it is.


Iconology in art history is a field that has undergone significant changes in the past several decades. Although it is still dense and technical, iconographic studies have begun to attract a wider audience. For example, Panofsky’s theory has fallen out of favor among specialists, but books on Holbein’s Ambassadors and Leonardo da Vinci’s iconography have reached the general public. Here are some of the key publications.


In Panofsky’s art history, the idea bears the stamp of truth. The idea is portrayed as the valuating agent of both the “exterior world” of the picture and the world of artistic production. The rift between Truth and Art is an important one in the history of art theory and introduces a new crisis: the rift between Truth and Reality. Although the concept of truth and the idea of art are closely related, the relationship between the two is ambiguous.


An early 17th-century art historian, Winckelmann is best known for his essays on Greek sculpture and painting. In 1755, he published Reflections on the Painting and Sculpture of the Greeks. This work was later translated into English by Henry Fuseli. While writing his book, Winckelmann visited Rome and Dresden, a city he had not yet visited since his long sojourn in Italy. There, he came across many copies of important Greek sculptures, paintings, and statues.

Second Vienna School

The First Vienna School of art history was influenced by the French Revolution, and the second Viennese school, which is associated with Otto Pacht and Hans Sedlmayr, was also shaped by the emergence of civil society in the early nineteenth century. This period also marked the rise of liberalism and the formation of a bourgeois intelligentsia, both of which were deeply connected to the development of the Vienna School of art history.