In line with the spiritual nature of icons, they exhibit simplification and stylization. Icons are characterized by vivid colors and often have gold backgrounds. They conform to prototype. They emphasize symbolic representation, rather than reality. There are no shadows and the subject emits light. They lack the dimension of depth. Due to their rejection of the temporal, physical world, the “backgrounds are dematerialized with shimmering gold, settings are schematized, and figures often appear timeless and static” (The National Gallery of Art web site).