I began this icon blog in 2011.  At that time, I had no idea whether such a blog would interest anyone.  Writing it was the result of remembering my frustration when I first began to study icons decades ago.  There was a severe lack of any practical information that would help one learn how to read icons, and to understand the history behind them.  Remembering that, and all the work I had to go through to learn over the years,  I decided to begin a blog that would quickly make any interested person more of an expert on icons than a great many “professionals” in the field.

My approach was not — and is not — religious.  I see icons as representatives of earlier times and cultures, extending all the way back to the pre-Christian veneration of images of the gods.  I had read a lot of nonsense over the years in “religious” books about the history of icons, and I decided to dispel many of the myths they repeat again and again from book to book and website to website.

I have to say,  I have been very surprised by the large numbers of people reading this site, and the friendly messages I often receive from them.

Now as you know, I ordinarily do not post comments on this site (as many web sites do).  However, given the amount of time this site has existed, I decided to stop posting for about a week, to give readers a chance to comment publicly if they wish.  What kind of comments?  Well, anything you want to say.  If you like the blog, and why — if you don’t like the blog — if you want it to continue — if you would like more information on a certain aspect of icons or a certain related subject. Of course I know there are some very conservative religious people out there who don’t like the idea of a non-religious blog on icons at all — but given that I provide more useful information than any other English-language site, they seem to read the blog anyway.

So please, you are invited to send comments of all kinds.  If you have complaints, this is your chance to “blow off steam.”  And if you like the site, this is your chance to tell me you want it to continue.  You may also add anything about your interest in icons.  Comments may be in any language you wish.  I know I have a lot of readers who are able to read English but prefer to write in their own language, and that is good.  Write in whatever language you prefer.

If you have anything to say about this site, please let me know by posting a comment within the next seven days, beginning right now.  If you prefer to be anonymous, just tell me in the message, and I will remove your name from your comment.

This “Comments Week” will last until November 17th, 2017.

Thanks to all of you for reading,





  1. Stelios Hadjistillis

    My dear David, I wish to encourage you to continue your work ! I personally found it very interesting . I would also like to thank you for what you have offered to us through your work !

  2. Maignan

    The idea of a non-religious blog on icons at all was very important.
    The art of icons is related to many domains: anthropology, history, sociology, archéology, Geography…is not religious only.
    Many thanks, please continue to inform us on this special Art.
    The christian icons are a reflect, a mirror of the live, a treasure for us, like the paintings, made on cavern walls by the first humanoïdes.
    Many thanks. Please continue..
    Marie Maignan, Atelier St Jean Damascene member, living in Switzerland.

  3. Connie Kowalski

    David , I love your site. I have read it and used it and appreciate all that it gave me. Thank you for all of you. Best of luck,.

  4. Julia Moore

    Dear David, I really enjoy reading your blog and I hope you will continue in the same style you currently write it. I can always go to other websites or books for religious information about icons. I appreciate the way you leave religious belief out of your blog. Sincerely, Julia Moore

  5. I only discovered your blog a week or so ago, searching for “icons”. I discovered icons a few years ago, and have enjoyed reading a few books on them, but having regular posts is fascinating for me. My interest is both artistic and religious. I love the way you zoom in on details – so helpful for appreciating things otherwise I wouldn’t notice because I do not yet know enough about icons! So thank you for introducing me to new work that otherwise I would have been unlikely to encounter, and thank you for time you spend researching and preparing your posts. I greatly appreciate what you do. Best wishes, Michael (aka !)

  6. Patrice DESCOTES

    So sorry for my bad English but as you know, I always do my best to be understandable by my favourite icon expert. It would be much clearer if it was written in French.
    Once again, I want to testify that I really appreciate your kind lessons on icon writing.
    I always learn a lot, even upon subjects that are already familiar to me.
    So thanks a lot for your professional teachings.
    Patrice DESCOTES

  7. Dear David, I am very enthusiastic about your blogs and your site. I like the no-nonsense and scientific information and the style, you write about icons. I hope you will continue. I often use the texts (using a link) for my own website. Thank you very much.

  8. Dear David, I have saved most of your blog entries as reference texts on various icons to refer to, either for my own icon painting, or for the Online Icon Course I run, and find them invaluable. Please continue! Sister Petra Clare

  9. Michele Catanese

    David, I have enjoyed your blog immensely. I love your attention to detail and that you offer styles of icons which I have never seen until you post and discuss them; I have learned much. While I do love the religious aspect of icons, I enjoy the different approach you offer and I appreciate that it allows people from differing background and views to enjoy the icons as well. Thanks and keep up the wonderful, informative work.

  10. andrea salvatore Berzolari

    Buonasera Davide, da qualche giorno sto seguendo il tuo blog, molto, molto interessante. Devi continuare, certamente. Ci sono tanti appassionati che amano questa splendida arte. Tra questi, anche io. Ho iniziato molto giovane, ero ancora studente, quando ho visto per la prima volta, esposte in mostra delle icone russe. Oggi ho 62 anni e ho mantenuto l’interesse. Ho anche dipinto icone, apprendere meglio la tecnica. Poi mi sono dedicato al restauro dei dipinti e ho restaurato anche alcune icone. Io vivo a Milano e tu? Ciao, Andrea

  11. Andrea Berzolari

    Essendo restauratore, sono molto interessato al restauro delle icone. Hai già trattato l’argomento? Preferibilmente trattato in modo specialistico. Specialmente conoscere come operano i restauratori dei musei russi o greci. Grazie

  12. seraphim

    Thank you David for a great website.
    I found your blog last year and have read through it all. I often download the pictures and copy them so that one file carries the name you gave it, so that I easier can find the article on the icon again.
    I find your articles fascinating. You have a lot of knowledge in the field!
    And so often the icons that you present are ones that I have never seen anywhere else.
    I am a practicing christian myself, living in a western country with a focus on hesychast techniques of mysticism.

  13. Hi David

    I’m a student iconographer and really appreciate your website. I work full time so time is limited, so I log in occasionally and always learn something new and worthwhile. I really hope you feel encouraged and carry on. Thanks for all your work and research. I rarely post comments online but wanted to express my gratitude and appreciation.

    Best wishes, Sue

  14. Hans Plasse

    Dear David,
    Reeds eerder heb ik mijn grote waardering laten blijken voor de fantastische informatie die u ons stuurde. Als kleine verzamelaar blijf ik zeer geïnteresseerd in de door u verstrekte gegevens over en rond iconen. Ook de twee iconen in mijn bezit hebt u behandeld. Ik heb er erg veel van geleerd en als u de tijd kunt vinden om uw studies ook in de komende periode met ons te delen dan zou dat geweldig zijn. Hartelijk dank voor de kennis die u met ons deelde. Met vriendelijke groet, Hans Plasse.

  15. dear David
    since I’ve become acquainted with icons I’ve searched for a website that could tell me more about icons, their meaning and place in history in detail. your blog does that; clear, no nonsense and with great variation. please keep going! Zaida

  16. Hello David,
    Yes, please keep going! Your observations are so sharp – I love how you pull out tiny details and draw our attention to things we may not otherwise notice. You have a wealth of knowledge on the subject and you have a likeable easy-to-read way of sharing a complex subject. You also highlight icons I would never otherwise be aware of. My sincere thanks for the time and effort which you devote to this blog! Much appreciated!
    Best wishes, Ronnie

  17. Cindy

    I appreciate your knowledge and thank you for sharing it with us. It is a great resource and the details you point out are rarely found anywhere else. Please continue “wowing” us with your posts. I have to admit that it does make me a little sad that you don’t seem to be a person of faith.
    With gratitude,

  18. Glad

    Dear David,

    I came across your blog yesterday whilst researching info on seraphim.

    I have spent a few hours in one sitting just reading it. Fascinating – the comprehensive info and the accompanying sharp images! Such a pleasure to read.

    I would like to ask you a question about the differences between seraphim and cherubim in frescoes and icons. There is also an icon of a seraphim which I cannot discern the text. I’m not even sure what the language is. May I send it to you when you supply your email address?

    I felt I have found gold yesterday when I found your blog. Thank you kindly for your good work!


  19. Caro David, il suo è un prezioso lavoro. Il poter leggere con lei sia le rare iconografie che propone sia le complesse abbreviazioni in paleo-slavo e/o greco è un vero privilegio.
    A quando una sua Lectio sulle date in lettere?
    Siamo già in attesa del suo prossimo blog.

  20. Clemens

    Hello David,
    I admire your knowledge of icons. As a private painter I am especially interested in the way the old monks and other painters made the icons. Your explanation of texts was very helpful in many cases. One question: If making an icon as good as possible, copied from an original drawing should you make the text in original greek or in a modern language as I have seen some people do?
    Keep going on,

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