Archangel Icons
Traditional Orthodox Iconography
What is Iconography?

Following are some quotes from Fathers of the Church as well as iconographers about iconography. Also include are several links for some excellent sites if you would like to further your education about icons.

"The icon is a song of triumph, and a revelation, and an enduring monument to the victory of the saints and the disgrace of the demons"
St. John of Damascus

"Byzantine Art begins where ordinary art ends. The divinely inspired art of iconography is simple and profound, as are all things in Orthodoxy, because they spring from the Gospels. An icon conveys theological meanings through mystical colors and forms"
Photios Kontoglou

"The ecclesiastical art of the Orthodox Church does not strive to delight our senses, but rather to sanctify our senses by offering us the same holy nourishment which we partake of during our holy services. This nourishment cones to us through hymnology, iconography, architecture, and even the art of the sacred utensils, vestments and every other man-made object in the temple. All these, with their reverent and elevating character work together for the purpose of lifting the souls of the faithful to praise and thanksgiving, but not in the aesthetic manner which the secular arts serve. It is, rather, accomplished in n entirely different manner, a manner which is spiritual in itself"
Photius Kontoglou

"We see that an icon must indeed depict that which we se with our eyes, preserving the characteristics of the body's form, for in this world the soul acts through the body; yet at the same time it must point toward the inner, spiritual essence. The task of the Iconographer is precisely to render, as far as possible and to as great an extent as possible, those spiritual qualities whereby the person depicted acquired the Kingdom of Heaven, whereby he won an imperishable crown from the Lord, for the Church's true significance is the salvation of man's soul."
St John Maximovitch

"Orthodox iconography is an expressionistic art form that seeks to convey a profound life-experience that possesses the soul."
Constantine Kalokyris

"If images represent the originals, they should call forth the same reverence. Images are ever the likenesses of their originals."
St Cyril of Alexandria "

The Tradition of the Church is expressed not only though words, not only through the actions and gestures used in worship, but also through art- through the line and color of the Holy Icons. An icon is not simply a religious picture designed to arouse appropriate emotions in the beholder; it is one of the ways whereby God is revealed to us. Through icons the Orthodox Christian receives a vision of the spiritual world. Because the icon is part of Tradition, icon painters are not free to adapt their own aesthetic sentiments, but the mind of the Church. Artistic inspiration is not excluded, but it is exercised within certain prescribed rules. It is important that icon painters should be good artists, but it is even more important that they should be sincere Christians, living within the spirit of Tradition, preparing themselves for their work by means of Confession and Holy Communion."
Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia

"We decree with full precision and care that, like the figure of the honored and life-giving cross, the revered and holy images, whether painted or made of mosaic or of other suitable material, are to be exposed in the holy churches of God, on sacred instruments and vestments, on walls and panels, in houses and by public ways; these are the images of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, and of Our Lady without blemish, the holy God-bearer, and of the revered angels, and of any of the saintly holy men." -
Second Council of Nicaea (Seventh Ecumenical Council) - 787 A.D.