Lecture 1: Iconography & Iconology: How to Speak the Language of Art

In this lecture, Dr. Christensen gathered with a group of artists and art enthusiasts to talk about how to read and understand paintings that often seem out of reach due to historical, cultural, or aesthetic distance. They include works by Rubens, Holbein, Titian, Rothko, Malevich, and Ai Weiwei.


  • Erwin Panofsky. Meaning in the Visual Arts (1955)
  • Erwin Panofsky. Perspective as Symbolic Form (1927)
  • Lucia Impelluso. Nature and Its Symbols (2003)
  • Ernst Cassirer. The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms (1955)
  • Ovid. Metamorphoses (8 AD)
  • Jacobus de Voragine. The Golden Legend (c. 1290)
  • Susie Hodge. Why Your Five-Year-Old Could Not Have Done That (2012)