Author(s): Laurie Schneider Adams
Since the 19th century, when art history became an established academic discipline, works of art have been read in a variety of ways. These different ways of describing and interpreting art are the methodologies of artistic analysis, the divining rods of meaning.Regardless of a works perceived difficulty, an art object is, in theory, complex. Every work of art is an expression of its culture (time and place) and its maker (the artist) and is dependent on its media (what its made of). The methodologies discussed hereformal analysis, iconology and iconography, Marxism, feminism, biography and autobiography, psychoanalysis, and structuralismreflect the multiplicity of meanings in an artistic image.