Iconography for Conservation


This UC aims to inform the student of what is meant by Iconography and what are the benefits resulting from the use of this tool in the analysis and study of a work of art. The purpose of the UC is therefore to provide the student with assembled knowledge that will allow him to have an iconographic approach appropriate to the object of study. At the end of this curricular unit the student will have acquired skills that allow him to: identify a profane theme and a sacred theme; recognize the main characters of each of the themes in the Program; analyze iconographically a work of art individually, as well as framing it in its specific universe; work with different sources, namely artistic and literary; apply their knowledge to the context of work in different working environments, including in cultural, religious, academic and / or scientific institutions.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Agnés Anne Françoise Le Gac Arinto, Catarina Paula Oliveira de Mattos Villamariz


Weekly - 4

Total - 70

Teaching language






- ALMEIDA, A Anunciação na Arte Medieval, 1983

- ___, O Presépio, 1983

- BOLVIG, History and Images,  2003

- CASTIÑERAS GONZÁLEZ, Introducción al Método Iconográfico, 1998

- COMMELIN, Mitologia Grega e Romana, 2000

- DERBES, Picturing the passion, 1996

- FUMAROLI, La Mythologie Gréco-Latine, 2004

- GUARINO, Mitologia Clássica,  2000

- HAMILTON, A Mitologia,  2004

- KESSLER,  Spiritual Seeing, 2000

- LUCAS, Hagiografia Medieval Portuguesa, 1984

- MÂLE, L’Art Religieux de la Fin du Moyen Âge, 1925

- MARTINS, «Os santos protectores à luz da hagiologia», in Museu, IVª, 2000

- MORILLAS, Los Dioses del Olimpo, 1998

- PANOFSKY, Estudos de Iconologia, 1995

- ___, O Significado nas Artes Visuais, 1989

- SCHNEIDER, El Arte del Retrato, 1999

Teaching method

The curricular unit will comprehend:

1. an explanatory component of the subjects, which includes visual exemplification with specific cases, through the use of projected images in order to illustrate the discourse; visualization of images  allows a better understanding of matters and also serves to familiarize students with the characteristics of each iconography.
2. a participatory component, in which students are encouraged to make an analysis of the works of art, in order to develop the ability to observe a work of art from an iconographic point of view as well as the capacity to transmit knowledge clearly.

In terms of evaluation 1 test and 2  small  works will be required.

The test is worth 40% of the evaluation and each work 30%. If the result of the 3 grades is equal to or greater than 10 the student is dismissed from the exam.

Evaluation method

In terms of evaluation 1 test and 2 small  works will be required.

The test is worth 40% of the evaluation and each work 30%. If the result of the 3 grades is equal to or greater than 10, the student is dismissed from the exam.

Subject matter

1. Introduction

   1.1 Iconography and Iconology: Origin and definition of concepts
   1.2 Erwin Panofsky: contributions to the study of iconography

2. Iconography of Pre-Classical Civilizations

   2.1. Some notes on Egypt and Mesopotamia
   2.2. Sources for the iconography of Pre-Classical Mythology: the History of Art; The Book of the Dead; The Epic    of Gilgamesh.

3. Iconography of Greco-Roman Mythology

   3.1. The gods
   3.2. Heroes and legends
   3.3. Sources for the iconography of Classical Mythology: the History of Art; Homer, Virgil and Ovid.

4. Christian Iconography: The Old Testament

   4.1. The iconography of the Creation
   4.2. Patriarchs, Temples, and Idols
   4.3. Sources for Old Testament iconography: The History of Art; The Bible.

5. Christian Iconography: The New Testament

   5.1. Iconography of Christ: From the Cycle of Childhoodto the Cycle of Glory
   5.2. The Iconography of Mary
   5.3. Sources for New Testament iconography: The History of Art; The New Testament; The Apocryphal Gospels.

6. Christian Iconography: Saints

   6.1. Most Important Saints
   6.2. The particular case of St. Magdalene
   6.3. Sources for the iconography of the Saints: the History of Art; hagiographies; The Golden Legend.