Cows in Snow, Danbury, Connecticut

Cows in Snow, Danbury, Connecticut

The Photograph:

Cows in snow, Danbury, Connecticut


My Photo
Current: Danbury, CT, United States
Welcome! A few years ago, I discovered an application that artists employ in their works to bring cultural awareness to their audiences. Having discerned this semiotic theory that applies to literature, music, art, film, and the media, I have devoted the blog, "Theory of Iconic Realism" to explore this theory. The link to the publisher of my book is below. If you or your university would like a copy of this book for your library or if you would like to review it for a scholarly journal, please contact the Edwin Mellen Press at the link listed below. Looking forward to hearing from you!

To view my page on the Edwin Mellen Press website, please click below:

Thank you for visiting. I hope you will find the information insightful. ~ Jeanne Iris


05 January, 2016

Dante Alighieri's "Paradiso" and Iconic Realism

Photo from Google Images

Dante Alighieri's final book of The Divine Comedy is Paradiso. In this book, he demonstrates the theory of iconic realism in that he aligns the spirit of the beloved Beatrice with the true wisdom of God, yet he simultaneously illustrates the need for humanity to acknowledge the glorious virtues found within the constraints of human interaction. 

CANTO IV, lines 28-39: The souls exist as projections of their truest light, the light that shines directly from God, which is their 'true home' whereas in lines 73-75, what the Pilgrim cannot learn directly must be taught him through analogy involving the senses, human physiological experience. This contradicts the earlier lines that indicate truth as intangible and experienced only through one's own enlightenment. 

The human will does not enjoy freedom to move of its own accord; it acts in response to the intensity of individual motivation. When perfect balance exists between two motives, the will is deprived of its power to move, and becomes paralyzed. A paradox that remains is humanity needs to interact with others but resists the risk of reaching out to make a difference. The result is apathy. 

16 December, 2015

Sándor Liezen-Mayer's Painting, "St. Elisabeth of Hungary" and Iconic Realism

Sándor Liezen-Mayer
Saint Elisabeth of Hungary
Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest

During the Christmas season, we see a lot of paintings depicting the birth of Jesus. As a woman of Hungarian ancestry (Lakatos is Hungarian for 'locksmith'), I was intrigued by this beautiful painting of St. Elisabeth of Hungary by Sandor Liezen-Mayer. Here, we see a Madonna-like figure and her infant child in a lowly state with Elisabeth extending her royal cloak to them.

An example of iconic realism, this painting illustrates the humility of the origins of Christian precepts and the balance of power when this humility extends from all levels of society. Liezen-Mayer does this through the variation of color, shading as well as interaction between the architecture and human figures. Tragically widowed at the age of 20, Szent Erzsébet devoted her short life to charitable works in Germany and Europe. She died in 1231, age 24. 

Charles Schulz's "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and Iconic Realism (Click onto title to view a scene.)

Photo from Google Images of Charles Schulz's A Charlie Brown Christmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles Schulz illustrates iconic realism in that Schulz creates a film in which children, independent of adult supervision, prepare a presentation of the meaning of Christmas. Through his humble choice of a tree, the character, Charlie Brown, demonstrates the seasonal message of hope and love while the other children learn that through collaboration they, too, are able to understand the profound seasonal message of tolerance and good will as they create a delightful celebration of Christmas.

May you all be blessed with a lovely Holiday season!

11 December, 2015

Frank Capra's 'It's a Wonderful Life' and Iconic Realism (Click this title to view bar scene from the film.)

Photo from Google Images: bar scene from film, It's a Wonderful Life

The 1946 film, It's a Wonderful Life, produced and directed by Frank Capra, illustrates iconic realism through the character of Clarence the angel. Here, an icon of virtue takes the good-hearted man, George Bailey, by the hand to show him the positive impact he has made on the consciousness of his hometown. 
This juxtaposition of the wealth in righteousness versus the poverty of the inane demonstrates how one individual's benevolent acts can positively affect the lives and ultimately the culture of a community. 

14 October, 2015

Jeanne D'Arc and Iconic Realism

 Joan of Arc's Death at the Stake,                                       
 by Hermann Stilke (1803–1860)                            

     With Halloween and All Saints Day soon arriving,  I thought I'd post on my patron saint, Jeanne D'Arc. I've chosen two images of this saint, a painting and the cover of a video game to illustrate iconic realism.
     Images merge within this painting of Jeanne D’Arc to provide an interpretation that represents the presence of hope that humanity, with all its industry, will recognize the value in the temporal nature of innocence. Interpretation of this work of art may include a variety of perspectives to complement the number of viewers of the specific art. At this moment of perception, then, the artist and the viewer become collaborators.
     Once this cognitive collaboration between artist and viewer occurs, the cultural interpretation begins to transform into a collection of new perspectives, based on the historicity of the viewers. Nicholas Davey states, “Hermeneutic thought articulates the conviction that art does not represent (vorstellen), copy or falsify the given world but allows that which is within the world to present (darstellen) or actualize itself (verwirklichen) more fully.” [1] New perceptions of a creative work shape newly actualized interpretations of the original work of art, which eventually become accepted interpretations of a community. Once the community recognizes these interpretations, the iconic becomes a reality.
     Through the establishment of an iconic figure within the consciousness of the community, an artist can then place this icon in a new reality that the community does not accept as the normal setting for this iconic figure. This placement allows the artist to make a statement that brings awareness to the community’s consciousness of an aspect within its culture that may need some attention.

[1] Davey, Nicholas. “Hermeneutics and Art Theory.” A Companion to Art Theory. eds. Paul  Smith and Carolyn Wilde. (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002) 149.