Allegory (Visual Arts)

The origin of the origin of the world.

Allegory (Visual Arts)

Neo expressionism artwork tmpx – Original Painting

The origin of the origin of the world

In the visual arts, an allegory is the representation of an abstract idea or a fable by a human figure, sometimes animal or hybrid (lion, dragon, centaur).

An action and attributes give indications on the direction of the work.

However, “allegory finds its full meaning only in the proposition which delivers the key”

Understanding the attributes or action requires knowledge of the codes that associate an accessory or action with an idea.

The same painting or sculpture theme can be reinterpreted, when the current symbolic codes and associations have changed.

Situation of allegory in art

Examples of allegory are legion in painting and sculpture.

In France, the Academy made allegory the highest category in the hierarchy of artistic genres.

This type of work was therefore particularly likely to obtain official orders and high prices.

The classical point of view differentiates allegories from symbolic figures in that they are not required, like the first, to be perfectly imitated.

It sets reception conditions: its figures must be easy to recognize, and they must enrich the subject with abstract ideas that the characters cannot express through their action.

One must regard allegory as authorized, when the Artist deals with a subject borrowed from a Poet, who himself used this language.

Therefore, allegory is a delight of cultivated people, able to recognize the allusion, and often seems ridiculous to others.

This is what happens with almost all absolutely allegorical compositions.

We can precisely argue that they come close to what we call riddles.

Any figurative work is likely to be interpreted as an allegory, whatever may have been the stated intentions of the sponsor and the author.

Allegory of divinity

As myth is, in the order of discourse and rhetoric, an allegory.

The representation of mythical figures with their characteristic attributes can be classified in the allegorical genre.

It is however the representation of an action, referring precisely to a myth, which makes the work an allegory and not a simple effigy.

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