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Kendall Taylor

Term used to describe images and information produced and disseminated for social, ideological or religious purposes. For some scholars almost any art, including monumental art (see Public monument) and even entire cities, can be regarded as a form of propaganda. The word is most commonly associated, however, with the deliberate manipulation of narrative art and graphic symbols to alter public opinion, a strategy adopted in modern times particularly by totalitarian regimes in the Western world seeking to engineer democratic support. This article therefore concentrates mainly on painting and the graphic arts as vehicles for propaganda in Western art, and in particular on the techniques used in empire-building, social and political reform, revolution and war.

The concept of persuasion through techniques of imagery can be traced back to the ancient world, where the earliest civilizations used propaganda art to evoke images of power and superiority and to dispel the fear from their warrior class or instil fear into the enemy. The images of animals in the ...