In the visual arts, a theme is a broad idea or a message conveyed by a work, such as a performance, a painting, or a motion picture. This message is usually about life, society or human nature. Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a work.
Themes are usually implied rather than explicitly stated. Deep thematic content is not required in a visual work; however, some observers would say that all visual work inherently projects some kind of outlook on life that can be taken as a theme, regardless of whether or not this is the intent of the author.
Analysis of changes (or implied change) in dynamic characteristics of the work can provide insight into a particular theme.
A theme is not the same as the subject of a work. For example, the subject of Star Wars is ”the battle for control of the galaxy between the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance”. The themes explored in the films might be ”moral ambiguity” or ”the conflict between technology and nature”.