Certain subjects are "deeply rooted in the human psyche" (Burnette, in the book Colville p.64). Canadian artist, Alex Colville said about this:
"What I have in mind is the use of material so old, so often used down through the ages, that it has become an integral part of human consiousness... an infinite reverberation of the past."
(quote from "My Experience as a Painter and Some General Views of Art." 1951 talk in Dow pp 203-208)
Here's a question I've been thinking about: How can you tell the difference between personal symbolism and universal symbolism? Do you have any thoughts on that?