With the end of the Iconoclastic controversy in 843, the cult of icons was restored, having been theologically sanctioned by the VII Ecumenical Council at Nicaea in 787. In Macedonia the number of icons surviving from this era is small in comparison with subsequent periods. The most important and best preserved are on Mount Athos, at Kastoria and Ochrid.
The extremely expensive and exacting technique of mosaic has been used for three portable icons, one in the Chelandari Monastery (late 12th century), and two, possibly of Thessalonikan provenance, in the Xenophontos Monastery (12th century). A double-sided litany icon from Kastoria (second half of 12th century), of superb artistry and thematic originality, is a masterpiece of Byzantine painting.