Richter Park, Danbury, CT

Richter Park, Danbury, CT

The Photograph:

I took this photo of Richter Park, Danbury, CT during a morning fog.


My photo
Current: Danbury, CT, United States
Welcome! A few years ago, I discovered an application that artists employ in their works to bring cultural awareness to their audiences. Having discerned this semiotic theory that applies to literature, music, art, film, and the media, I have devoted the blog, "Theory of Iconic Realism" to explore this theory. The link to the publisher of my book is below. If you or your university would like a copy of this book for your library or if you would like to review it for a scholarly journal, please contact the Edwin Mellen Press at the link listed below. Looking forward to hearing from you!

To view my page on the Edwin Mellen Press website, please click below:

Thank you for visiting. I hope you will find the information insightful. ~ Jeanne Iris


03 December, 2016

Sándor Liezen-Mayer's Painting, "St. Elisabeth of Hungary" and Iconic Realism

Sándor Liezen-Mayer
Saint Elisabeth of Hungary
Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest

During the Christmas season, we see a lot of paintings depicting the birth of Jesus. As a woman of Hungarian ancestry (Lakatos is Hungarian for 'locksmith'), I was intrigued by this beautiful painting of St. Elisabeth of Hungary by Sandor Liezen-Mayer. Here, we see a Madonna-like figure and her infant child in a lowly state with Elisabeth extending her royal cloak to them.

An example of iconic realism, this painting illustrates the humility of the origins of Christian precepts and the balance of power when this humility extends from all levels of society. Liezen-Mayer does this through the variation of color, shading as well as interaction between the architecture and human figures. Tragically widowed at the age of 20, Szent Erzsébet devoted her short life to charitable works in Germany and Europe. She died in 1231, at the age of 24.

27 November, 2016

Symphony at The Cloisters, New York City and Iconic Realism terraxplorer/image/68935986
The following excerpt is in the Introduction of my book. I'd like to thank Professor Lionel Bascom for telling me of this experience as his illustration of iconic realism.

A group of New Yorkers assembles in the Cloisters museum, which sits atop a hill overlooking the Hudson River, just outside of Manhattan. These individuals have come to listen to a concert, which will be presented just before sunset. Anticipating a traditional concert with musicians performing in front of a listening audience, they search for seating. They notice that chairs have been strategically placed throughout the museum, a few here, a few there, up the winding staircases, in the garden, along the walls of stone. Confused, the concert attendees seat themselves, waiting.

Soon, echoing through the interweaving chambers of the museum, low brass instruments create a resonating medieval drone, monotone voices chanting in Latin with sustained pitches, fill the damp air with a sound that transports the audience from the busy New York City museum to a medieval stone castle. The glow from the setting sun mixed with low lighting envelops the medieval tapestries, statuary and paintings while muted melodies fill the audience with an aural feast. Iconic melodies that signify this medieval period permeate the halls.

The medieval tones mingle with the realism in the works of art, architecture and presence of the audience, sensually transported to this era. When the concert ends, the members of this audience become aware of the cultural distinctions between the two worlds of medieval Europe and twentieth century New York City, now transformed in their perceptions of continuity of human interaction in time and space, having experienced iconic realism.

17 November, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo from Google Images

As we near this Thanksgiving Day, I am thankful for the wonderful people who have visited this site. I wish for you great health and happiness. I am thankful for the life that I have right now: my family, friends, colleagues, and students, who have influenced me in ways that they probably do not even know. Filled with love and appreciation, I sincerely hope that God will reign Blessings on each person whose life has touched me in a positive manner. 

With much gratitude, I wish you all a Blessed Thanksgiving! 
~ Dr. Jeanne Iris

06 November, 2016

Semiotic Theory

I took this photo in Dublin, Ireland a few years ago.

Content of material represented through literature, art and music contains the linguistic configurations associated with language in addition to visual and auditory stimuli. In literature, content consists of language, represented by words on a page that convey meaning to the audience. Artistic content varies from materials, such as paint, rock, metal, fabric, or other physical substance, with the subject matter originating in the human experience. Musical compositions include content that incorporates any form of resonance to which the auditory mechanism responds.

For instance, thematic representation of creative expression incorporates the history, language and culture of the artist in relation to individual purpose of expression with an audience. A musical composition contains a specific theme. This theme can then repeat every time a musician performs the piece. However, the theme will elicit variations based on instrumentation, acoustics, and musicians actively attempting to recreate the original sound. A new aurally thematic expression results from this interpretation. Likewise, a work of art will receive the eyes of multiple viewers. Each person adapts his/her life experience to the interpretation of the rendered artistic theme, thus altering the original thematic construct of the artist. Hence, a theme is in a constant state of evolution, no matter which art form has been presented. (Lakatos 22-23)

21 October, 2016

Field of Dreams and Iconic Realism (Click here to view the movie trailer.)

In the photo, you will see the baseball field, which was actually constructed in an Iowa cornfield for the film, Field of Dreams.  

"An example of iconic realism in a film would be the baseball field within the 1989 film, Field of Dreams, based on the novel written by W. P. Kinsella and the screenplay written and directed by Phil Alden Robinson. Throughout the film, the audience knows that the mysterious baseball diamond, carved out of an Iowan cornfield by farmer Ray Kinsella, connects with the sport of baseball. Two iconic factors are present, the sport, which many view as America’s heart and the location, which is the heartland of America" (Lakatos 57).

"The realism is the actual grass, the parameters of the field, which consist of the edge of a cornfield and the players, themselves, which are the Chicago Black Socks, a team which had gone through a series of legalities during its prime season. The baseball players are ghosts from this infamous team, who simply wish to play out eternity on a ball field. As the plot unfolds, Ray’s true reason to construct the field revolves around ‘having a catch’ with his father. Therefore, the iconic feature of an authentic baseball field, placed in the middle of a cornfield in Iowa, a very unlikely place for a baseball field, elicits the cultural awareness from the main character. Ray’s illusions of his father were detached from a realistic understanding of his father’s passion, for he very much like Ray, himself, was a hardworking young man, who loved baseball" (Lakatos 57).

"Therefore, Robinson’s use of iconic realism in the Field of Dreams illustrates a personal mission of opening the consciousness of America to the conflict within the heart of its people and traditions. The use of illusion and human consciousness illuminate the struggle with personal motivation that produces results as stated repeatedly throughout the film, “If you build it, he will come.” This feature of iconic realism in the Field of Dreams adapts well to contemporary statements of community in iconic characterizations and the realistic dynamics of connection and detachment" (Lakatos 57).

Work Cited: 
Lakatos, Jeanne. The Theory of Iconic Realism: Understanding the Arts through a Cultural Context. Lewisburg, New York: Edwin Mellen Publishers, 2009.