chapter  I
35 Pages

I

The word ‘icon’ comes from the Greek eikon, meaning ‘reproduction’ or ‘image’. In its broadest sense, ‘icon’ means anything that bears a perceivable resemblance to an intended object. While medieval iconography concerned itself mostly with the description of mythic harmony expressed through such resemblances, Erwin Panofsky (1939) differentiated between iconography and iconology and so gave the terms their modern meaning. Iconography increasingly denoted descriptive practices of identifying themes, whereas iconology stands for the exploration of the symbolic meaning of figurative forms.