Image program

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Bernwardstür (Hildesheim): Image program sin (left, descending) and redemption (right, ascending)

In art history, image program is the thematic subordination of the individual images of a cycle or the visual design of a building to a leitmotif .

Such an image program can be a person's biography, an allegorical circle of ideas such as arts , virtues or seasons or - e.g. B. in Christian iconography - the creed , the seven sacraments or the mysteries of the rosary .

The picture themes and their arrangement are determined by temporal sequences, symbolic analogies and contrasts , in Christian art often by typological relationships between the individual picture fields.

In church building , patronage and patronage are often decisive for the pictorial program. Knowing the entire image program is a crucial key to understanding the individual images.