When we think about the icon it is important to keep three dimensions of this one reality in mind:
Should we neglect any one of these three dimensions we would deprive ourselves of understanding the full meaning of the icon. By neglecting the theological element, the icon becomes an historical monument or document, which transmits valuable information about history or folklore, but as a result loses its soul. If we neglect the academic aspect, we condemn ourselves to a subjectivity that inhibits our ability to distinguish between what is essential and what is secondary. By failing to make such distinctions we are in danger of altering the very transcendent Truth, which the icon points to. To neglect the aesthetic element is obviously to misjudge the icon itself. In admitting that a religious subject requires first and foremost the use of the most advanced artistic techniques and talent in the execution of the work, we do not mean to say that all such works of art are in fact the expression of a culture at its highest point of development. So-called "primitive" art can also express a very profound idea.