(Excerpt from Paul Evdokimov’s The Art of the Icon: A Theology of Beauty, pp. 208-209).
“Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation” (Col 1:15). Now even the first defenders of the icon separated, rather simplistically, the two natures and put the visible with Christ’s humanity and the invisible with his divinity. But the image cannot be divided along the lines of the natures, for it refers back to the person of Christ in his unity. A person in two natures means an image in two modes, visible and invisible. The divine is invisible, but it is reflected in the visible human aspect. The icon of Christ is possible, true, and real because his image in the human mode is identical to the invisible image according to the divine mode; the two images constitute the two aspects of the one person-image of the Word of God. According to St. John Damascus, the energies of the two natures, the created and the uncreated, penetrate each other. In the hypostatic union, Christ’s deified human participates in the divine glory and shows us God. The Christological perichoresis, that is, the exchange of idioms, calls to mind the same and reciprocal co-penetration of the two natures and makes more explicit the mystery of the one image according to two modes of expression. This allows us to say that the humanity of Christ is the image of his divinity. And again, “He who has seen me has seen the Father” not say “has seen God” but rather, “the Father,” for the Son is the image of the Father and thereby the expression of the Trinity. The unique person thus possesses the unique image-icon in two modes of expression: seen by God and seen by man.