A medieval depiction of Jean de Meun's Roman de la Rose (photo from Google Images)
Salvador Dali's Rose (Photo from Google Images)
The above paintings, from top to bottom, illustration from medieval poem, Roman de la Rose, Breughel's Fall of Icarus and Dali's Rose, are examples of artistic renderings of this theory. The function of semiotic representation is the reflection of the society in which both the artist and the audience reside. However, the artistic rendering does not necessarily reflect the standard of that community, for the intention of the artist may well be to create a piece that jolts the audience into a need for a cultural change. This would be the reason for an artist employing the use of iconic realism, assisting the audience to become adroitly aware of that aspect of the culture with which they are familiar and its need for transformation.
In Jean de Meun's epylion, Roman de la Rose, a young man is attracted to a 'rose' representing a young woman. The iconic image is the rose, living in a guarded tower. This rose becomes the object of the young man's desire and purpose, but not until he first receives much advice from wise allegorical characters on how to win her heart. The realistic environment in which this wild rose lives illustrates that creating a fortress around those natural impulses only causes the impulse within one's heart to become more instinctively determined.
In Pieter Breughel's painting, The Fall of Icarus, the spirit of rebellion reveals young Icarus, falling into the sea while the local community turns their attention away from his plight. Here, the self-absorbed society's rejection of the obvious need illustrates a necessity for humanity to attend to others' frailties when they are obviously seeking genuine help.
Rose by Salvador Dali illustrates an iconic image of a rose, suspended in mid-air above an arid landscape. A small, barely visible and iconic young couple, hold hands amid this arid landscape. This positioning demonstrates that the outer revelation of love can occasionally become even greater, more lovely than those experiencing this emotion could imagine.