Published in


This is an email from Signified , a newsletter by Signifier.

Signifier Sends Solstice Salutations!

Recommended Reading for the Festive Mood in Signifier:

Mother & Child in Devotional Art

Some early depictions of the Madonna and Child were directly modelled on the established and familiar icons of Isis with Horus. Even the tendency in medieval devotional art to show the Christ child as a miniature adult can be traced back to representations of the infant Horus as, proportionally, mature. This seems to become a more obvious affectation as Christian art became ostensibly more sophisticated and sought to present the Holy Family as different to average church-goers…

read more in SIGNIFIER

Forever Autumn

“The first instance of a perfectly painted twilight.” That’s how the influential art critic John Ruskin described Autumn Leaves, painted in 1856 by John Everett Millais. Millais explained it as, “something full of beauty, without subject,” and so it was hailed as an early influence on the Aesthetic movement and a paradigm of art for art’s sake. Of course, the image clearly does have a subject, as well as a poetic narrative, and employs the kind of symbolism the artist was already known for…

continue reading in SIGNIFIER

Yuletide Greetings Across the Centuries

Hunters in the Snow is an icon of Winter in the Northern Hemisphere, and rightly so. Skillful in its composition and use of colour, it seems a bridge between the medieval ‘book-of-hours’ and our modern ‘graphic-novel’ sensibilities. It’s considered the first large winter landscape of European art, often reproduced as a popular print — especially at this time of year, as a Christmas card…

continue reading in SIGNIFIER

A Double Virgin of the Rocks!

Leonardo da Vinci, renaissance genius, scientist, artist, l’huomo universale — the universal man, who was interested in everything about the natural world, completed very few paintings in his lifetime. The Virgin of the Rocks is one — in fact, he made two versions of this painting. The Louvre owns the earlier version, the National Gallery London owns the latter.…

continue reading in SIGNIFIER

Deep in the Wood — Trees as Art

Many cultures around the world have adopted natural trees as shrines. The tradition of tying coloured ribbons to their branches dates back to pagan times, but persists in many religions today. The Bodhi prayer trees represent the sacred fig that the Buddha was sitting beneath when he achieved enlightenment. Some of the indigenous peoples of the Americas tie ritually prepared cloths to trees in their sacred places. Across eastern Europe there are some ancient trees concentrated to Catholic saints. The tradition of decorating a Christmas Tree has become a secular tradition that allows anyone a creative outlet every Yuletide…

read more in SIGNIFIER

More than a Christmas Card

The Virgin Eleousa of Vladimir was painted in the early 1100s and it’s one of the most famous, and most copied, Christian icons depicting the subject of the Holy Mother and Child. It originated in Constantinople, then the capital of the Byzantine Empire. In the 1130s it was gifted by the Church to Yuri Dolgorukiy, a Grand Prince of Russia. It was displayed in the city of Vladimir from 1155 until 1395 when it was moved to Moscow.…

continue reading in SIGNIFIER

…and a Whole Year of : Six : Shot : Gallery

Signifier’s Six Shot is an online gallery that showcases the work of an exciting contemporary artist each month with just six images linked by aesthetics, techniques, processes, philosophies, formal or conceptual elements. The accompanying statement by the artist may not necessarily explain the work but will help build a deeper and more meaningful engagement with it.

All 12 exhibitions of 2021 remain online for you to consider and enjoy…


Signifier can only thrive with your support

Some easy ways you can help support Signifier and show some love this Festive Season…

If you enjoy our thoughtful articles about art, design and media, and have not yet subscribed, please consider subscribing to Medium via this link — we receive a small referral fee and you get unlimited access to The Signifier publication and The Six Shot gallery, plus all the quality writing across Medium. It’s a great deal!

We also welcome reader-engagement with our writers. You can highlight passages of interest, leave comments, and why not give a few ‘claps’ of appreciation? A little reader support goes a long way and needn’t cost you a penny. Whether you’re a Medium subscriber or not, you can also show some support by spreading the word and sharing articles you enjoy on your social media. Why not forward this newsletter to someone you know who shares an interest in art?

If you know anyone who enjoys reading “imaginative fiction at its best”, you can further support our editor and curator, Remy Dean, by recommending or purchasing their latest four-part novel, This, written with Zel Cariad and published by The Red Sparrow Press.

Missed any of our Signified Newsletters? They are now archived here.

Yuletide Wishes to Each and Every One of Our Readers and All the Very Best for 2022!

Thank you for your continued interest. Our Publication updates every week, so visit often!



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Remy Dean

Remy Dean


Author, Artist, Creative Consultant in Education. ‘This, That, and The Other’ fantasy novels published by The Red Sparrow Press.