Icons are considered direct windows to the spiritual world. The word icon is derived from the Greek word for "image", which is eikona.
Subjects for icons include the Mother of God, the Annunciation, Christ the Savior, the Holy Shroud, Saints, Angels, or particular holy events.
Some icons are done in embroidery. Embroidered icons are an art form that can be traced back to tenth century Byzantine and Russian iconography. In old Russia, a woman who was able to make iconography or ecclesiastical embroideries such as banners, shrouds, curtains, and covers for the church was considered to have a very valuable gift and special virtue.
List of common Byzantine icon names and interpretations:
- Glykofilousa - Sweet Kissing Mary
- The Protective Madonna
- Our Lady of Perpetual Help
- Jesus Christ Pantokrator
- Jesus Christ the Life-Giver
- Saint George, the Dragon Slayer
- Theotokos - Mary, Mother of God
- Saint Nicholas, the Miracleworker
- Saint Raphael and Nickolas
- Saint Panteleimon, the Healer
- Saint Kyprianos
- Saint Demetrios
- Archangel Michael
- Saint Constantine and Helen
- Saint Gerasimos of Kefalonia