The interrelation of metaphors and metonymies is manifested in non-verbal sign systems of visual art in various forms: in the fundamental intentions of the works, in the forming of the works' concepts, and in the sign systems of the texts. The systematicity of the interrelations between metaphors and metonymies on these levels can be revealed through the analysis of works by great masters of visual art from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In this essay, Surikov's art serves an example. The metonymies of an intentional character appeared in his mind in his youth and were later realized in the ideas of his fundamental works, in their connections with various metaphors, in the composition of the works, and in various sign systems related to them. These connections are manifested in systems of differences and identities in layers of denotations and connotations. These systems are connected by common organizing structures that allow the sign formations of metaphors and metonymies to emerge.
Codes can be viewed as mechanisms that enable relations of signs and their components, i.e., semiosis is actualized. The combinations of these relations produce new relations as new codes are building over other codes. Structures appear in the mechanisms of codes. Hence, codes can be described as transformations of structures from some material systems into others. Structures belong to different carriers, but exist in codes in their “pure” form. Building of codes over other codes fosters their regulation. There are several ways to add codes: by types of transformation of structures involved in codes; by dimensions of pragmatics, semantics, and syntactics; through “abstract universals versus precise forms” relations; and by regulation levels in the “organism – environment” relations. More complicated codes are formed based on the interrelations of codes built over. These interrelations are presented as a conceptual chart, which reflects the way typical semiotic formations emerge in mind based on the interrelations of various codes. It also presents the related sociocultural semiotic systemities: motives, needs, aspirations, moral values, purposes, language-like systemities, fundamental frames, patterns of culture, etc.
Visual perception and visual connection are implemented thanks to many codes. Formation of code typology is one of the problem of semiotics. This typology may be substantiated ontologically – through universals of heterogeneity of visual art works. Groups of elements and relations of heterogeneity that are connected with structures correspond to various codes. In accordance with this fundamental types of codes, their subtypes and combinations are allocated. The suggested chart of code typology describes the differences and peculiarities of language-type systems and texts of visual information and visual art.
The conceptuality of works of visual art is a manifestation of the conceptuality of sign systems in general. In visual art, concepts rely upon verbal sign systems, including texts that prevail in culture, as well as upon sign systems of visual art and its most famous works. Conceptual schemes are intensified by metaphors, metonymies, and interrelations of denotations and connotations. Basic senses of the entire conceptual scheme and separate concepts are accompanied by various meanings of visual signs. Developed manifestations of such conceptuality are revealed in the course of analysis of Pieter Bruegel the Elder's works, in which some Hieronymus Bosch's concepts and visual signs are used.
The analysis of works of visual art illustrates
typical groups of elements and interrelations, which form semiotic systems of
these works. Specific systems of connotations and their relations with semantic
structures, paradigmatics, and typical signal structures are described. Like in
linguistic texts, different levels are formed in complex images. The following
basic level types are distinguished: sems and other units of semantic level;
signs subdivided into: icons of represented objects and connotative sign
formations; representamens of basic signs as interpreted by Charles Peirce,
including those of connotations, and signals referred to as basic perceptive
integer units forming an individual level.
The formation of all sign systems is based on structures. Structures support the functioning of codes and organization of denotations, connotations, and groups of signs of visual art works. Due to codes, structure interrelations are manifested in characteristics, relations, differences-identities, and groups of elements, forming the structure of an art work. This role of structures was examined in the frames of theoretical ideas of antiquity and Renaissance. Its most complete application to the visual art is manifested in the ideas by Leonardo da Vinci. Developed structures organizing sign systems are illustrated by the analysis of Lady with an Ermine.
Being the object of semiotic studies, metonymy demands investigation in the non-verbal domain, i.e., visual sign systems. When analyzing the metonymies of visual artworks, they prove to have different sources: verbal and visual sources refer to codes, languages, contexts, and sign forms of a work (denotations, connotations, and organizing sign structures). Different particular metonymies promote incarnation of a general metonymy of work. In the work structure (or coding), particular metonymies are joined and organized on the basis of this general metonymy. The metonymies interrelated in a complex way on the basis of general metonymy are revealed in the course of semiotic analysis of the paintings by Bruegel the Elder. The sign structures of his works underlie the philosophic generalizations of the great painter and philosopher.
Connotations as part and parcel of human communication are found in the course of semiotic analysis of works of visual art. Developed connotative formations, deeply connected with semantics, are revealed during analysis of some masters and trends of this kind of art. The works by Bellini are characterized by developed connotative sign formations, which are included into intentional, identification, and organizing codes, and form the basis of the creative-emotional impact and the composition of the works. Connotative formations of Bellini's pictures contain basic visually active elements — massive contours, color configurations, moving directions of the basic denoted objects. Bellini's connotative approach was continued in the works of his great followers.
Codes are mechanisms in which signs are actualized. They relate various sign sides to each other. These sign sides can be represented as heterogeneities (diversity, relations, differences), some are organized with the help of various differences – identities formulated in a specific way. The basis of the codes of visual perception and art are primarily the heterogeneities of the elements perceived directly (contours of objects, sizes, directions of movement, light and color irritants, etc.). A structure, conceived of as a manner of connection, is a principle for constructing a kind of a whole and is the center of an organized heterogeneity.
The systemity of visual artworks can be described by the interrelation of several semiotic models as: (a) interrelations between verbal and nonverbal systemities; (b) interrelations of the three semiotic aspects, both internal ones and those with the three semiotic aspects of artwork verbal basis; (c) signs formed by codes, systems of linguistic type, text, and context; (d) sign form including denotations, connotations, and organizing structures, and finally, (e) sign system of individual elements and details. The Holy Trinity painted by Rublev illustrates developed interrelations of these models.