The English word “image,” which comes from the Latin imago, is related to the Latin word imitari, which means “to imitate.” An image is an artificial imitation or representation of the external form of any object, especially of a person.
Images now displace ideals.
But an ideal is much more difficult to define. It is, I suppose we would say now, an old-fashioned word and an old-fashioned notion. “Ideal” is related somehow to “idea.” Our dictionaries define it as a conception of something in its most excellent or perfect form—something that exists only in the mind.
Note from the book by J. Boorstin. “The Image.”