[The Son] is the Image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of every creature.
[God] hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed Heir of all things, by Whom also He made the worlds; Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express Image of His Person, and upholding all things by the Word of His power [. . .].
The precise task of the iconographer is to render, to the greatest extent possible, those spiritual qualities, whereby the person depicted acquired the Kingdom of Heaven, won the Lord’s imperishable crown as the Church’s true significance is the salvation of man’s soul. That which is on the earth perishes when we bring the body to the grave; but the soul passes on to another place.
From “Iconography” by St. John the Wonderworker