Iconography refers to the visual images and symbols used in a work of art.
The term ‘iconography’ is derived from the Greek word ‘ikon’, which means image. Originally, an icon was a picture of Christ on a panel used for devotion in the Orthodox Greek Church, dating back to at least the seventh century. As a result, the term "icon" has come to be associated with any object or image that is remarkable or holds a special significance.
Iconography refers to a specific system of images or types used by artists to convey particular meanings. For instance, in Christian religious painting, there is an iconography of symbols such as the lamb, representing Christ, or the dove, symbolising the Holy Spirit. In classical mythology, the presence of a dove might indicate the presence of the goddess Aphrodite or Venus, illustrating how the meanings of specific images can be context-dependent.