To understand what the icon represents to Orthodox Christians one need only enter a church that follows the Byzantine rite. There, sacred images of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the local saints are gently illuminated by lamps and candles, and the faithful kneel before them, cross themselves, and kiss the icons. The twentieth century witnessed a remarkable renaissance of the Russian icon. Important restoration revealed their original color; in-depth studies recount their history and meaning; the diaspora of intellectuals and iconographers from Soviet Russia spread Slavic art and culture around the world. The purpose of this guide is to try to catalogue this vast heritage of images according to iconographic type and subject, from the most ancient icons at the Monastery of Saint Catherine on Mount Sinai to those from Mount Athos, Constantinople, Crete, and the Balkans; from the schools of Pskov, Novgorod, and Moscow to those of the northern Russian monasteries; from the earliest monastic communities in the Egyptian desert near Thebes to the monasteries of the Solovetski islands in the White Sea. Behind them are fascinating stories of apostles, ascetic martyrs, and 'fools for Christ', and the eyes of saints gazing through us, into the next world.