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Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique

Editor-in-Chief: Danesi, Marcel

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Volume 2013, Issue 193


The interrelation of metaphors and metonymies in sign systems of visual art: An example analysis of works by V. I. Surikov

Georgij Yu. Somov
Published Online: 2013-02-22 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2013-0003


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.

Keywords: metaphor; metonymy; denotation; connotation; visual art; Vasily I. Surikov

About the article

Georgij Yu. Somov

Georgij Yu. Somov (b. 1946) is a professor at the Urban Design Institute in Moscow 〈georgij.somov@gmail.com〉. His research interests include the problems of design, composition in architecture, semiotics of visual art, and theoretical semiotics. His publications include “Conviviality problem in the structure of semiotic objects” (2004); “Semiotic systemity of visual artworks: Case study of The Holy Trinity by Rublev” (2007); “Structures and semiotic systems” (2007); and “The role of structures in semiotic systems (analysis of some ideas of Leonardo da Vinci and the portrait Lady with an Ermine)” (2008).

Urban Design Institute in Moscow

Published Online: 2013-02-22

Published in Print: 2013-02-22

Citation Information: Semiotica, Volume 2013, Issue 193, Pages 31–66, ISSN (Online) 1613-3692, ISSN (Print) 0037-1998, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2013-0003.

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©[2013] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston.Get Permission

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