We are swamped by images. Images of paintings are not paintings. I would say it’s also true that: Paintings are not images. An image is an illustrated idea. A sign for something we wish to hold onto. In this way an image is like a verbal concept. A simple analogy or metaphor, like any form of explanation, it exists as a sign pointing at an idea. Not all verbal expression is a stand-in for an idea. Extended metaphor, a story, a poem can be something else.