A venerated representation of a subject, usually a painting or mosaics, referencing religion such as a representation of Christ, the Virgin Mary, etc. The term is particularly associated with Byzantine, Russian and Greek Orthodox churches. Icons first appeared and became objects of devotion as Christian cult images at the end of the fifth century. In Russia, the production of icons has continued into the 20th Century. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms" (LPD)