The essay "Byzantine icon painting" explores Byzantine art. Icons had various forms and functions. The size ranged from the miniature to the monumental. They could be church frescoes and mosaics, pendants, triptychs (with two hinged panels), or serve as mounted frames. Icons served as church decorations and also as personal images of devotion in homes. Icons are essentially devotional images, used as objects of veneration. They have profound spiritual meaning. In line with the spiritual nature of icons, they exhibit simplification and stylization. Icons are characterized by vivid colors and often have gold backgrounds. They conform to prototype. They emphasize symbolic representation, rather than reality. There are no shadows and the subject emits light. They lack the dimension of depth. Due to their rejection of the temporal, physical world, the “backgrounds are dematerialized with shimmering gold, settings are schematized, and figures often appear timeless and static”. Byzantine art is the term used to refer to the artistic products of the Eastern Roman Empire from about the fifth century to the fall of Constantinople in 1453. It differs from classical art in its emphasis on Christian ethic and morality. The most important and dominant form of Byzantine art is the Byzantine icon. The word icon is derived from the Greek eikones and refers to sacred images representing Christ, the Virgin Mary and the saints. Although the contemporary term has come to represent wooden panel painting.