The Legacy and Future of Saussurean Semiology in the Study of Art and Visual Communication

Maja Rudloff, Rasmus Kjærboe

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The present study discusses how the emergence of semiology has outlined a new trajectory for visual and pictorial studies. First, we outline how Ferdinand de Saussure’s thoughts on the sign and its relation to visual communication has developed. Second, we interrogate its impact on art history, an already established science of visuality, throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Third, we briefly discuss whether art history’s answer to reading Saussure is a denial or a positive affirmation of political responsibility shared by visual studies in general. The study highlights some of the most pertinent parts of the Saussurean legacy for the study of visual communication as a system, and some of the challenges and
opportunities this legacy has created.
TidsskriftLanguage and Semiotic Studies
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)123-132
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2022


  • visual communication
  • semiology
  • images
  • art
  • art history

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