Please note: Brackets around a hyperlink indicate that it has been dead or out of working at the time of updating this webpage. If the connection cannot be reestablished after some time, the link will be removed from the webpage.
Labyrinth - a good search engine for medieval
studies, including religion and art; comprehensive database
under construction. (Associated with Georgetown University,
The intention of this collection of references to icons is to make available to the visitor the rich world of the icons of The Orthodox Church. You may want to make yourself acquainted with the liturgical use of icons or you may just wish to rest a little while in communication with the icon. Be welcomed!
What does it mean to paint/to write
an icon? There are certainly many different opinions about this
subject. Some iconographers paint "repetitions" of icons,
several hundred years of age, especially Byzantine and Russian
icons, while other iconographers loosen the bonds to these
patterns and work more "freely", but still loyal of the theology
of the Orthodox Church and the invariable basic rules of
iconography. Some examples of this last mentioned position might
be contemporary Rumanian iconographers (see below).
The icons of most websites will
first appear as thumbnails, which may be enlarged to different
sizes/resolutions on the screen. Now and then the image won't
download instantly, still (2019) the case of some of the Russian
pages. So some patience may be required! The intention has
been to include only links to icons of a good quality
of appearance (on a scale from acceptable/good to
When in the annotations the picture quality of the icons are referred to, what it meant is only the technical representation of the icon on the screen. There will be no comments to the quality of the icon as such!
All of the icons on this webpage
can be seen enlarged. To avoid typing on the pages with the
enlarged icons, the links to the websites, from where they
originate, will be directly activated by clicking on the
enlarged icon, if the websites are still alive (quite a lot are
dead by now)
Iconographers - Aidan Hart's informative article
"Today and Tomorrow: Principles in the training of Future
Iconographers". A must!
Coptic Iconography - small website about the neo-coptic iconography including examples of icons (courses in London).
Coptic Inconography - interesting interview in the
Orthodox Arts Journal with illustrations.
Archimandrite Zenon - Aidan Hart has written a long informative article, including illustrations, about the famous icon painter Zenon (Theodor). In the end of the article you'll find links to Zenons works.
Early Christian and Byzantine Image Pages - a comprehensive and absolutely beautiful website, connected with a course. A goldmine of frescoes, mosaic works, jewelry, textiles, ikons, illuminated manuscripts, churces, monasteries and a great lot of other images. Large files of very fine picture quality. Most icons are collected in the sektions "Sinai Icons", "Festival Icons" (3 pages), "The Theotokos", "Christ" and "Contemporary Russian Art". (Prof. Joe Byrne, Belmont University, Tennessee).
Icons of Bosnia-Herzegovina - an excellent site with a detailed text about churches, monasteries and icons in the area. Beautiful old icons from the 16th - 19th centuries. Good picture quality. In addition one is given an impression of the effects of war on the religious life and art. (Svetlana Rakic, fled from Sarajevo in 1992, now associated with Franklin College, Indiana).
Belarusian School of Icon Painting - a collection of fine old icons with descriptions of each image. The icons are from an area presumably not known to many people. Very good picture quality. Text about ikonography and the right use of icons. (Belarus - White Russia).
Art Gallery - a very large private
collection of icons from c.1650 to 1918. The icons are placed
chronologically, displaying the oldest ones first. Please
notice: This website is very suitable for education because of
its detailed description of each of the 84 icons. Excellent
quality of images enlarged. (James and Tatiana Jackson
Collection, Cedar Falls, Iowa - the collection is part of James
Jackson's antique shop website) .
Icons - interesting small collection of
Ethiopian Icons. Two sections: 1) "Faith" contains the
exhibition of the icons and 2) "Science", where one can see a
treatment case study. (National Museum of African Art,
- a long informative article dealing with a great part of
the icons from the exhibition of the Metmuseum, "Faith and Power
1261-1557" (see above). The icons are shown in a low resolution,
yet the picture quality is good. (Carter B. Horsley, The City
Review Inc., New York).
Icons of Macedonia - a large and beautiful collection of early icons from the 11th-16th century. Many of the icons have been damaged and some of them have been carefully restored. Mainly museum pieces. Images enlargements. Elaborate description and information. Comprehensive article about" the history of the icon" in Macedonia.
B. Icons: limited information
di Palazzo Leoni Montanari - a comprehensive
collection of Russian icons from the 13th to the 20th century
lies here on display as a permanent exhibition. Italian and
English. (Vicenza, Italy).
Russian Icons Gallery - a Japanese website,
click on "Plates" to see icons. Short English text.
World's Great Madonnas - a collection of historical images of the Virgin, including only a few icons. The index page is focused on the annunciation and the birth of Jesus. See also "archive of past images". Very little information.
Icons - here one finds 7 very beautiful icons
from Polish museums. Large files of a fine quality. In
addition a long article about ikonography. (Walter
Maksimovich, Kensington MD, USA).
Icon Painting in Belarus - here one can find interesting and somewhat "different" icons from the 15th - 18th centuries.
of the Church Year - the icons at this place are
organized according to the church year. There are links to
texts about most of the various feastdays, that is, the icons
are placed in their right context, but there are no datings!
Both the new and the old icons are of good image quality.
Icons - Olga's Gallery - a very beautiful gallery
with many of the classical Russian icons in excellent
enlargements. There are 3 sections plus special pages,
including short biographies, about Theophanes, Andrei Rublev
Icons from Struga (Macedonia) - a small collection with some information. (Father Stefan Sandzhakoski).
Our Lady of Balamand - this monastery in the Northern part of Lebanon exhibits a small collection of icons. There are some iconographic information, but no dates of the icons. (Our Lady of Balamand Patriarchal Monastery, Lebanon)
The Irkutsk Art Museum - a small nice collection of icons from the 15th-18th centuries. Fine picture quality. Only Russian, but click on Икона. (The Art Museum of Irkutsk, Siberia)
Old Russian Icon Painting - the nice collection of icons from the 14th-19th centuries is no longer on display, only 2 icons. (The Sergiev Posad State History and Art Museum-Reserve, Moskva regionen).
Iconography - here one can enjoy an exhibition of several hundreds of icons, primarily from the 14th to the 17th century. Very fine image quality. For a start click on Иконография. The navigation may seem somewhat disorderly; the folders have been organized by topics, so some icons may pop up more than one time. Information in Russian about date and place (the original and the present place of each icon). Bibliography. Search. You may use a programme such as Free Translation Online, which offers a quick translation from Russian to English. This website is highly recommended!
Christianity in icons, murals & mosaics - an exhibition of a around three hundred old icons from the hands of the famous masters and from the great icon schools. The image quality is mostly okay. The gallery is organized by topics, but one can also browse the gallery by schools, by authors, by current locations such as cathedrals, monasteries, museums etc. The intrance "by groups" shows how the icons are placed together in the iconostasis. Please notice that the Russian section of the website shows more icons than the English section. A tour into these webpages is recommended!
image - a
huge collection of primarily old icons. Rather small files.
Picture quality mostly okay. Image information about quite a
lot of the icons. One is invited to vote or write ones
opinion of each icon.
Moscow Kremlin - the
museum exhibits a great many icons. The English version
displays less icons than the Russian pages. (Moscow Kremlin
Andrey Rublyov's Icons - here one can look at 17 nice icons by Rublev. The
images are of a good quality and can be enlarged twice (the
second time: click on "Cсылка"). Only in Russian.
Palekh Icons - a collection of icons from Palech from the 17th-19th centuries. No systematic list. Some images are not the very best picture quality. Most icons are from the State Museum of Palekh Art.
Odigia Ikonenmuseum - an exhibition of old icons, e.g. John the Baptist. Illustrative examples of restoration. Information unfortunately only in Dutch. Images of nice picture quality. (Odegia Institute, Haag, The Netherlands).
Culture of Russia - an extensive and marvellous exhibition of the famous beauties of Russian icons. Apart from the frontpage, this website is only in Russian, and navigation is a bit difficult. But it is absolutely worth it to have some patience here. You may click on the list below, for example the Russian words such as Богоматерь and Спас (that is: the words for God's Mother and Christ), in this way you will get many more results.
Virtual Icon Catalogue - an impressive big collection of Russian icons, divided into sections:Old icons from the 11th-16th century (176 icons), Godmother icons (151 icons), Novgorod icons (52 icons), Pskov icons (24 icons), Tver icons (44 icons) and Paul Korins oldrussian collection (20 icons). Unfortunately in some of the sections the icons are rather dark, but in other sections they are of a very high quality. NB: only Russian text. However the collection is very well organized, which makes it easy to navigate the web site. The dates can be understood right away. A visit is highly recommended! (Moscow's St Mitrophan of Voronezh Church and the Church of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos in Petrovsky Park).
Web Gallery of Art - here one can find a collection of very beautiful icons from the 13/14th-16th century. Search "Russian icon", "Greek icon" and "Byzantine icon" in title and click on "Comment" for information. The icons may be send as postcards.
Holy Dormition Orthodox Church - a church presents its contemporary icons (nearly 50 pieces). Only thumbsnails. (Holy Dormition, Cumberland, Rhode Island, part of The Orthodox Church in America).
Icons of Ancient Russia - a small collection of Russian icons from the 11th-16th centuries. Two pages. Information only in Russian.
Gallery on Kotlovke - this website contains several hundreds of icons, but it is not easy to navigate unless you read Russian. From the main photo page a visit may be recommended into the following collections: Архангельский собор (Arkhangelsk Cathedral), where from page 13ff a great many icons can be seen. That section also includes liturgical objects, frescoes etc. of a fine picture quality. The most comprehensive exhibition of icons one can find in the section Кострома (Kostroma). Almost all of the icons are earlier than 1800. The section Переславль (Pereslavl) contains some very beautiful icons in between a lot of other objects. Also in Данилов монастырь (Danilov Monastery) fine icons can be seen. Dates and information about the main part of the icons, and only in Russian. A more direct way may be to write Икона into the search.
Live Journal - Russian chat forum about everything, but where people also have inserted many beautiful icons, some of them in a very big resolution of a rather good quality. Most of the icons have got dates. Please in particular notice the icons posted by John Petrov. Navigating this website is easy. You simply go backwards from the mainpage (the page of the day) by the link "go:earlier" at the bottom of the pages. This chat forum is worth a visit, even though it seems not to have been alive for some years!
Below you will find some addresses to sale of icons and to
contemporary icon painting:
The icons of these websites are divided into 2 sections: 1)
antique shops with online exhibitions of old icons and
2) contemporary icon painters.
1. Antique shops and auction houses
Sancta - this shop offers a big collection of icons for sale in 4 different websites. Most of the icons are from the 19th century. Big images of a fine picture quality. One can see many interesting details in excellent enlargements! Many of the icons are "folk icons" and not all of the icons are in a good state of repair, which is reflected in the price. The oldest and most expensive icons are exhibited here. Nice layout. You may also visit the other website of Sanctas here. (Edgaras Mickevicius, A ntique Shop in Lithuania).
Antique shop - exhibition of several hundred icons, nearly all of them from the 19th century (the shop says that 70% of the icons are from the 19th century, but that is not the case regarding the online collection at least). Some of the first displayed icons have not been photographed right on and some are unsharp, but there are many pieces of a fine image quality, and there are many beautiful icons to buy in this shop. (Tallinn, Estonia).
Artantique - an excellent exhibition of icons from the 19th century. Fine enlargements of a good picture quality (except for a few). Nice layout. English version. (Moscow).
Russian Icons - an exhibition of icons of a fine
quality. Information including some descriptions of the
images. High resolution pictures. New exhibitions twice a
year. Have a look!
Tsth-Ikonen - here you will find a small nice collection of Russian icons. Most of the icons are of a fine image quality, but some look unsharp. (Ferenc and Christel Tsth, Amsterdam).
Morsink Ikonen - many high quality icons, including quite a lot of early ones, offered for sale. The new ones can be seen in a very high resolution. Only short information. (Jan Morsink, Amsterdam).
Auktionshaus Zeller - this auction house displays icons for sale as well as sold icons as far back as 2002. Click on the auction catalogs and scroll down to "Ikonen". The picture quality of most of the icons is okay. Medium images. (Michael Zeller, Lindau, Germany).
Antique Icons - this monastery has got some Russian icons from the 18th to the 19th century for sale. Fine enlargements of most of the images. (Holy Cross Monastery, West Virginia, US).
Iconastas of Piccadilly - an exhibition of a great deal of icons from the 17th century and later times. Short information about each icon. Rather small image files. The picture quality not impressive, not sharp as many of the icons appear. (London).
Ikonengalerie Mvnius - an icon exhibition.
Files of a varied picture quality. Some information in
English. Descriptions in German.
Milatz Ikonen -
here you will find descriptions of the images. Nice
examples are displayed, though unfortunately quite a lot is of
no good picture quality. The icons which have been sold are
maltreated by big sold strips across the images.
(Heerhugowaard, The Netherlands).
Russian Art - a big private collection of Russian icons for sale. Organized into sections according to centuries. No further information. Images somewhat blurred. (Berne, Switzerland).
Ikonen-Galerie Horst R.Schmied - a well organized exhibition of around 50 icons from the 16th-19th century. A separate section of brass icons. Some of the icons are very small and/or blurred. Not many replacements in this German website. (Bad Griesbach).
Carlo Teardo Antiquario - here one will find many nice icons for sale. Descriptions only in Italian. (Milano, Italien).
Ikonenhandel Grassmann - a small exhibition of icons nicely represented. (Berlin).
Brenske Gallery - a small selection of icons, mostly from the 19th century. Small images. (Stefan Brenske, Munich & Hannover, Germany, also in Zurich, Switzerland).
Russian-Antique - many of the icons here unfortunately are not displayed in a frontal way, but one can see many fine details. (New York).
The Russian Store - this exhibition quite nice, good quality images, descriptions of the icons and a number of original articles on related subjects. (Palm Beach, Florida).
Damascene Gallery - online shop features some authentic antique icons, new hand-painted icons and high quality printed icons on wood. (New Jersey, US).
Ikonen Galerie Sophia - a small collection of old icons. German website. (Zurich).
Antikhof Neuenstein - small online exhibition. Rather small images, but full descriptions! No updating for a long time. (Neuenstein, Germany).
2. Contemporary icon painters
Iconofile Resource Guide - helpful guide to find painters, fiber artists and metal workers in sacred art.
Dr. Georg Kordis - a master iconographer!, fascinating, painting of icons but also of great frescoes in churches, working to combine renewal with faithfulness to tradition. See Kordis' own website with icons. Informative interview. (Athen, Greece)
Betsy Porter Art and Iconography - a very informative website. Apart from the icon gallery of the iconographer, you'll find icon classes and very good instructions step by step on how to paint an icon of your own. (California, U.S.)
- in this workshop there are 14 icon painters working,
drawing icons of a rarely high quality. You may find some
very exquisite works.
Russian Icon" Moscow Icon-painting Center - this website contains contemporary icons of a high standard together with some articles about the situation of icon painting today. Unfortunately many links are out of function. You may visit the Russian page, where especially the section with St. Georg exhibits some excellent old icons. Russian and English.
- Russian workshop exhibiting contemporary icons. Only in
Russian, but you may navigate through the (approximate)
English words in the addresses of the different links on
the menu. Click on gallery, on restoration and archive to
see fine examples of icons from the nineties till now and
also quite a lot of illustrating examples of restoration
of damaged icons.
Orthodox Icons Today - a small exhibition of Fedor Streltsov's modern icons. Nice images. (Moscow).
Sacret Art Studio - Vivian Karayiannis exhibits here some icons from her studio. (Houston).
Atelier Saint-Andri - this workshop is a community of traditional Byzantine iconographers who follow the teachings of Egon Sendler. The website contains a full and interesting instruction of icon painting step by step including many illustrations.
Icons of Henk Roersma - this icon painter is an auto-didact who has been painting for 32 years. He has had several exhibitions. Very fine work indeed. (Lunteren, Netherlands).
Dumitrescu - one of the young very experienced
iconographer. Icons, frescos and restoration. Watch the video
(Contemporary Religious Art) on YouTube. The latest works from
L.D.'s hand is an abrupt and exiting break from his earlier
more traditional icon painting. (Bucarest, Rumania)
Gregore Popescu - only in Rumanian
Elena Murariu Modern Art of Icons - very experimenting
Ioan Popa - no website, but a great deal of his icons can be seen in the interesting interview with him here
Papacioc - an article about the Romanian Orthodox
nun and her work. Some of her icons one can see on Pinterest.