Drawing with Metaphors. Mediating ideational content in drawing through metaphors


  • Berit Ingebrethsen Høgskolelektor, HiT



Emneord (Nøkkelord):

, ideational drawing, cognitive linguistic metaphor theory, metaphor, metonymy, educational devices


It is not easy to express abstract concepts, such as time and society, in a drawing. The subject of this article is rooted in the educational issue of visually expressing themes represented by abstract concepts. However, it is possible to find means and devices to express such ideas. This article shows how metaphors can be used to express such ideas visually. Cognitive linguistic research argues that metaphors are crucial in the verbal communication of abstract concepts. This article also attempts to show that metaphors are important in visual communication. The cognitive linguistic metaphor theory of George Lakoff and Mark Johnson is used here to investigate how metaphors are used to construct meaning in the drawings of cartoonist and illustrator Finn Graff and artist Saul Steinberg. The article presents a few examples of how visual devices structure the abstract concept of time. It then proceeds to explain how symbols function as metonymies and provides an overview of the different types of metaphors and how they are used to express meaning in drawings. The article concludes by attempting to provide new insights regarding the use of visual metaphors.


Berit Ingebrethsen, Høgskolelektor, HiT

Føresteamanuensis. Fakultet for estetiske fag, folkekultur og lærerutdanning, institutt for forming og formgiving.




Hvordan referere

Ingebrethsen, B. (2013). Drawing with Metaphors. Mediating ideational content in drawing through metaphors. FormAkademisk, 6(3). https://doi.org/10.7577/formakademisk.744




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