The icon is not simply a "religious painting". It has its own character and its own rules.
For the Orthodox Church, the icon is a language that can express its doctrines and commandments as well as the written word. It is theology expressed in shapes and colors that the eye can see.
It is connected with this world. It reflects the culture that is around it. It also reflects the lives of the people, the era of the environment, and the same personal life of the craftsman.
Iconography is concise. It devotes only a few lines to describe large and important events. The icon shows us only what is essential.
Figure Saints are always painted upfront which demonstrates the close link between the worshiper and the painted saint. The Saints are facing the side of the worshippers and together they are praying to the Lord.
Finally we could say that the icon is not a photographic display of some persons and events, but shows everything "in an alternate form" to direct worshipers to pray, to become familiar with the depicted saint, and motivate them to resemble them.