A Guide to Christian Iconography:
Images, Symbols, and Texts


Through the centuries, Christian artists drew their inspiration from scripture, saints' lives and Bible commentaries. This website will help you understand images of saints and events from scripture by explaining the legends and interpretations behind them. Who is that young man walking with Joseph and Mary? Who is the woman with the crown, and why is she holding a chalice? These are the kind of questions you will find answered here.

Listed below are over 250 articles carefully researched by an emeritus professor of medieval literature. Supporting the articles are thousands of pages of photographs of art works from the first century through the twentieth, each with its own commentary. To browse the site you can look through the listings below, or use the search field at the top of this page.



SAINTS:

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B



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D



E



F



G



H



I



J



K



L



M



N



O



P



Q



R



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U



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W



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BIBLE



OLD TESTAMENT FIGURES



ANGELS



THE APOSTLES AND EVANGELISTS



THE VIRGIN MARY



JESUS AND THE TRINITY





SYMBOLS AND ALLEGORICAL FIGURES



GENRES & MEDIA