ETYM Greek, a sketch or description; eikon an image + graphein to describe: cf. French iconographie.
1. The art or representation by pictures or images; the description or study of portraiture or representation, as of persons.
2. The study of representative art in general.
Study of drawing symbols.
In art history, significance attached to symbols that can help to identify subject matter (for example, a saint holding keys usually represents St Peter) and place a work of art in its historical context. The pioneer of this approach was the German art historian Erwin Panofsky.