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The Hidden Symbolic Meaning of Spiders in Western painting
 

   

The iconographical interpretation of Arachnids in Byzantine, Gothic and Renaissance Painting. William H. Hunt once wrote "When language was not transcendental enough to complete the meaning of a revelation, symbols were relied upon for heavenly teaching, and familiar images, chosen from the known, were made to mirror the unknown spiritual truth." Until the 19th century  European art was mostly concerned  with religious subject matter. Spider iconography dates back to ancient times.

Byzantine, Gothic and Early Renaissance paintings are rich in philosophical and Christian symbolism regarding Spiders.

Spider - associated with betrayal, ill begotten schemes, and death.

Spider in a Web -  symbolizes a spinner of fate, intrigue in the court.

Spider on a hand - a reminder of mans mortality

Spiders in the Bible

"His folly shall not please him, and his trust shall be like the spider's web. " -- Job 8:14

"They give birth to snake's eggs, and make spider's threads: whoever takes their eggs for food comes to his death, and the egg which is crushed becomes a poison-snake." -- Isaiah 59:5

The Meaning of Sacred Symbols in  Paintings. Most prominently featured  symbols and their meaning:

The  Serpent

Good Shepherd

Adam and Eve

Key

Wheat

Weapons

Virgin Mary

Christ

The Anchor

The Apostles

Satan

Chalice

The Cross

Architectural Elements

Fruit

The Saints

Colors

Book

Birds

Angels

Insects

Fish

Spider

Animals

Household Objects

 

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