Russian icon: Meaning
According classical Orthodox religious thinking
Icon is special gate between person religious beliefs and God.
Icon is world of signs, each of them has special meaning , and reflects one of many
That concept discussed best of all at works of Russian religious phylosopher Paul Florensky.
Thus, Icon is always symbolical.
Each and any part of it has its special meaning - nothing is casual, including paints or material used for Icon.
Negative characters shown in other positions than positive ones, sizes of characters has its meaning.
Even colors depends on role of particular character.
Thus, usually Icons should be blessed and approved by Church authorities.
Masters who make Icons have to be special persons, usually their statue is near to monks.
That is why Russian icon traditionally painted at large monasteries centers ("Lavra").