The History of Art And The Curious Lives of Famous Painters
The Hidden Symbolism of Insects in Western Painting
Renaissance paintings are rich in philosophical and Christian symbolism regarding insects.From the of time of the Roman persecution Christians used signs and symbols to secretly identify each other. The Church commissioned sacred images that acted as moral instruction to illiterate serfs who clamored for spiritual enlightenment of the holy scriptures. The religious images, carvings and stone work served as a constant reminder of the hellish suffering that awaited heretics and sinners if they strayed from Gods word and church law. Byzantine, Gothic, Northern Renaissance and Italian Renaissance paintings are rich in philosophical Christian symbolism regarding Insects.
Most prominently featured Insects in Byzantine, Gothic and Renaissance Painting
Cicada - symbol of prayer, sanctuary and hope
A fly hovering over a church official or nobleman indicates disfavor with the king or corruption and dereliction of duty.
A fly hovering over a maiden or noblewoman suggests shamelessness or a woman given to lustful actions.
Ladybug - symbol of healing, restoration and divinity
Spider - when a web is placed near a person in a painting it symbolizes the person as one who plots destruction.
A spider web is symbolic of monarchy or church intrigue.
A spider shown scudding out of a web indicates a devilish activities are afoot.
A spider on an apple represents Satans hand in the temptation of Eve and the Fall of Man into sin filled wantonness.
A spider perched on a cup symbolizes matrimonial discord or infidelity.
A spider sitting on a pillow
may represent self-gratification and debauchery.
Maggot is a symbol of deterioration, mortality, decadent lifestyle, Satan, Armageddon
Firefly - represents renewal, youth, hope, new beginnings, young love.
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