Icon - the Greek word eikón, from which the term icon comes, means an image. The icon is an important element in the Eastern Orthodox church, it is identified with the presence of the living God on Earth which was the presence of the Saviour Jesus Christ. The icon has been present in Podkarpackie since the beginning of the population of these areas by the Russian people, that is practically from the beginning of the history of this part of Poland. Two great cultures coexisted here: the eastern one, connected with the Byzantine tradition, the Orthodox church, and from the 16th century the Uniate church, and the western one, connected with the Catholic church. The great diversity of these two civilizations has also been reflected by its depiction in paintings. In the interwar period of the twentieth century, all of the most valuable icons from the 14th century were collected in the area of the Carpathians and the surrounding area and placed in the Lviv Museum, where they remain today. In the Bieszczady Mountains, the icon is still alive and strongly associated with the culture. Written icons are both traditional performances – copies of earlier works, as well as more free, personal interpretations of canons. Preserved iconostases can be admired as part of the Wooden Architecture Route. There are 127 buildings of wooden architecture on the route, including churches, Eastern Orthodox churches, open-air museums, small-town buildings, manor houses and palaces. Particularly noteworthy are pearls of wooden architecture inscribed on the UNESCO List of World Cultural and Natural Heritage. The Carpathian Icons Studio, created in 2000, the year of the millennium, refers to the tradition of small icon workshops existing in the 17th and 18th centuries in the Carpathians, in places such as Sądowa Wisznia and Rybotycze near Przemyśl. The location of the Carpathian Icons Studio in Sanok is a great base for further study of this painting, located as it is at the centre of the so-called Icon Trail, where museum resources exhibit around a thousand icons on permanent exhibitions and where knowledge of icons, iconography, stylistics, history and theology has been accumulated. The Carpathian Icons Studio aims to popularize icon painting, creating and copying icons that are stylistically related to the tradition of Carpathian Icons, as well as organizing workshops, lectures and cooperation with artists from Poland and abroad.

The information and photos included in this article are from the Brochure "POLSKA - PODKARPACKIE VOIVODESHIP. INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE" prepared by Rzeszow Regional Development Agency – ARTISTIC project partner.