The Holy Trinity Icon by Andrei Rublev (c.1410)

According to legend, the first icon was created by the Gospel writer Luke, when he painted a likeness of Mary while she was still alive. (There is also a famous icon that shows Luke at an easel painting her.) In the fourth century Chrysostom wrote of having a portrait of the apostle Paul on his desk to inspire him as he penned his famous sermons. But the earliest surviving icons are from the sixth and seventh centuries, almost all of them preserved at St. Catherine’s Monastery in Syria.