What follows is a short guide to the wealth of books and other material available on icons, iconography and the role of icons in meditation. It is not intended to be a comprehensive listing.
- Baggley, John, Doors of Perception: Icons and their Spiritual Significance (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1995).
- Baggley, john, Festival Icons for the Christian Year (London: Mowbray, 2000).
These two excellent books give detailed introductions to iconography. The second work locates icons within their liturgical setting and through this brings out their rich significance.
- Brenske, Helmut, and Brenske, Stefan, Icons: Windows on Eternity (Hannover: Albrecht, 2001).
A general introduction with many fine reproductions.
- Castle, Tony, Gateway to the Trinity: Meditations on Rublev’s Icon (Slough: St. Paul’s, 1993).
A short and personal meditation on the significance of Rublev’s great icon ‘The Hospitality of Abraham’. A good beginner’s introduction.
- Chittister, Joan, A Passion for Life—Fragments of the Face of God: Icons by Robert Lentz (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1996).
Images and commentary on some contemporary iconographic works.
- Collins, Gregory, The Glenstal Book of Icons (Dublin: Columba Press, 2002).
An introduction to icons through images from the icons of Glenstal Abbey.
- Crook, Sr Bernadette Mewburn, The Ibillin Beatitude Icons: Meditations and Icons (BAI, 2010).
- Evdokimov, Paul, The Art of the Icon: A Theology of Beauty (Redondo Beach, Calif.: Oakwood Publications, 1996).
More developed theological assessment.
- Florensky, Pavel, Iconostasis (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1996).
An in-depth analysis of the theology of the iconostasis.
- Forrest, Jim, Praying with Icons (New York: Orbis Books, 1997).
An excellent introduction to icons and iconography.
- Hart, Russell M., The Icon through Western Eyes (Springfield, Ill.: Templegate Publishers, 1991).
Introduction with colour plates and commentary.
- Jenkins, Simon, Windows into Heaven: The Icons and Spirituality of Russia (Oxford: Lion, 1998).
A simply and well illustrated introduction with Liturgical texts and prayers.
- Kala,Tthomas, Meditations on the Icons (Slough: St. Paul’s, 1993).
A basic, good and value-for-money introduction.
- Maguire, Henry, The Icons of their Bodies: Saints and their Images in Byzantium (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996).
More detailed and advanced examination.
- Minto, Marilyn, Windows into Heaven: An introduction to the Russian Icon (Cardiff: Aureus, 1996).
A good introduction with colour plates and commentary.
- Muzj, Maria Giovanna, Transfiguration: Introduction to the Contemplation of Icons (Boston: St. Paul Books and Media, 1991).
A good introduction to many different icons, each with a colour reproduction and straightforward commentary.
- Nes, Solrunn, The Mystical Language of Icons (London: St. Paul’s, 2000).
A general presentation of the techniques and theology of iconography by a contemporary iconographer. Beautifully illustrated.
- Nouwen, Henri, Behold the Beauty of the Lord (Notre Dame, Ind.: Ave Maria Press, 1988).
Four meditations on four great icons. If you like Nouwen’s spiritual style, this is a good introduction to icons.
- Ouspensky, Leonid, Theology of the Icon, 2 vols. (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1992).
A text-based theological introduction to the theological meaning of icons.
- Ouspensky, Leonid, and Lossky, Vladimir, The Meaning of Icons (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1999).
A classic introduction to the theology of icons with many beautiful reproductions.
- Pauline, Sr, with Rust, Stations of the Cross (BAI, 2010).
- Proud, Llinda, Icons: A Sacred Art (Andover: Pitkin, 2000).
Probably the cheapest and best beginner’s introduction.
- Quenot, Michel, The Icon: Window on the Kingdom (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1996).
General introduction with illustrations.
- Quenot, Michel, The Resurrection and the Icon (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1997).
A more detailed theological analysis of icons.
- Ramos-poquí, Guillem, The Technique of Icon Painting (Tunbridge Wells: Search Press/Burns & Oates, 1995).
A good introduction to icon painting; includes patterns for icons and prayers for their blessing.
- Sendler, Egon, The Icon: Image of the Invisible. Elements of Theology, Aesthetics and Technique (Redondo Beach, Calif.: Oakwood Publications, 1999).
A more advanced presentation.
- Tataryn, Myroslaw, How to Pray with Icons: An Introduction (Canada and Leominster: Novalis/Gracewing, 1988).
- Tataryn, Myroslaw, Praying with Icons: An Introduction for Children (Canada and Leominster: Novalis/Gracewing, 1988).
Two short books, simply written and with colourful illustrations.
- Temple, Richard, Icons: A Sacred Art (Longmead: Element Books/The Temple Gallery, 1989).
Mainly colour plates with introductory text.
- Temple, Richard, Icons and the Mystical Origins of Christianity (Oxford: Luzac Oriental Limited, 2001).
A good introduction to icons for the person who wants to move beyond the basic.
- Williams, Rowan, Ponder These Things: Praying with Icons of the Virgin (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2002).
A beautifully produced spiritual introduction to icons of Mary.
- Vrame, Anton c., The Educating Icon: Teaching Wisdom and Holiness in the Orthodox Way (Brookline, Mass.: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1999).
A theological treatise.