I was first led to this book by Gillian Rose in her book ‘Visual Methodologies' (2011). I found it very easy follow and understand which might be because it is an introduction to the subject, even though it is written in an academic framing. Van Straten was also part of the team that work on Iconclass which is a relatively modern part of Iconography. Iconclass is basically a more streamlined way of cataloging sources and references that painters used to inform their work. This is certainly something I can look into later but probably not necessary for the essay other than a mention. Could potentially be a bias as van Straten was a part of writing it himself.
Gained great information from this book about the 4 phases of the Iconographical process. I did get a foothold on the process from Roses (2011) book, but I found her style of writing much more difficult to understand. Even though they are both technically introductions to the methodology I do find it difficult to consume much academic text.
Phase 1 - Exact enumeration of everything that can be seen in the work of art without defining the relationships between things.
Phase 2 - The ‘theme’ or ‘subject’, the things we see, brought into relation with one another
Phase 3 - Deeper meaning or content of the work of art as intended by the artists
Phase 4 - To look beyond queries about the artist and subject, instead to ask why was it created - or why just so?
This process feels very similar to that of identifying the signs in semiotics and although it might not be quite as in depth as Peirces semiological method there are a lot of similarities. Could go into detail on this for the essay if I have enough space, if not I could talk about the similarities between the two in my presentation.
Rose, G. (2011) Visual methodologies: An introduction to researching with visual materials. 3rd edn. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
van Straten, R., de Man, P. and Patricia, D.M. (1994) Introduction to Iconography: Symbols, allusions and meaning in the visual arts, revised English edition. Yverdon, Switzerland, Switzerland: Williston, Vermont, U.S.A.: Gordon & Breach Science Pub.