The religion of Christ is the revelation, by Him, of the truth.
And this truth is the knowledge of the true God and of the
spiritual world. But the spiritual world is not what men used
to—and still do—call "spiritual."Christ calls His religion "new
wine" and "bread that cometh down from Heaven." The
Apostle Paul says, "Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is
a new creation. The old things have passed away: behold,
all things have become new."
In a religion like this, one that makes the believer into a "new
man," everything is "new." So, too, the art that gradually took
form out of the spirit of this religion, and which it invented to
express its Mystery, is a "new" art, one not like any other, just
as the religion of Christ is not like any other, in spite of what
some may say who have eyes only for certain meaningless
The architecture of this religion, its music, its painting, its
sacred poetry, insofar as they make use of material media,
nourish the souls of the faithful with spirit. The works
produced in these media are like steps that lead them from
earth up to heaven, from this earthly and temporary state to
that which is heavenly and eternal: This takes place so far as
is possible with human nature.
For this reason, the arts of the Church are anagogical, that is,
they elevate natural phenomena and submit them to "the
beautiful transformation." They are also called "liturgical"
arts, because through them man tastes the essence of the
liturgy by which God is worshipped and through which man
becomes like unto the Heavenly Hosts and perceives immortal
Ecclesiastical liturgical painting, the painting of worship, took
its form above all from Byzantium, where it remained the
mystical Ark of Christ’s religion and was called hagiographia
or sacred painting. As with the other arts of the Church, the
purpose of hagiographia is not to give pleasure to our carnal
sense of sight, but to transform it into a spiritual sense, so
that in the visible things of this world we may see what
surpasses this world.
Please continue reading this article here, the wonderful
Orthodox blog, 'Full of Grace and Truth'.