The Seventh Ecumenical Council:
"Eternal be the memory of those who know and accept
and believe the visions of the prophets as the Divinity
Himself shaped and impressed them, whatever the chorus
of the prophets saw and narrated, and who hold to the written
and unwritten tradition of the Apostles which was passed on
to the Fathers, and on account of this make icons of the Holy
things and honour them."
"Anathema to those who do not accept the visions of the prophets
and who reject the iconographies which have been seen by them
(O wonder!) even before the Incarnation of the Word, but either
speak empty words about having seen the unattainable and unseen
Essence, or on the one hand pay heed to those who have seen these
appearances of icons, types and forms of the truth, while on the other
hand they cannot bear to have icons made of the Word become man
and His sufferings on our behalf."
St. Nicodemus the Hagiorite, in his prolegomena to the Seventh Ecumenical
Council, sums up the Council's decrees on this subject as follows:
"The present Council, in the letter which it sent to the Church
of Alexandria, on the one hand blesses those who know and
accept, and therefore make icons of and honour, the visions
and theophanies of the Prophets, as God Himself shaped and
impressed them on their minds. And on the other hand it
anathematizes those who do not accept the iconographies
of such visions before the incarnation of God the Word.
It follows that the Beginningless Father must be represented
in icons as He appeared to the Prophet Daniel, as the Ancient of Days."
NB: "It follows that the Beginningless Father must be represented in icons
as He appeared to the Prophet Daniel, as the Ancient of Days."
Here is a perfect example of the fact that even saints are fallible and err. The Orthodox Church does not believe the Ancient of Days in Daniel's vision to be the Father, but was only the opinion of some Fathers and is not the consensus of the Church, these opinons are not shared by the liturgical texts, nor by the traditions of canonical iconography, nor has there existed an image of the Father based on the events described in Daniel 7. In fact there has never existed an icon of God the Father or the (NT)Trinity, before, during or for many centuries after the 7th Ecumenical Council, this is a historical fact beyond any reasonable shadow of a doubt. It is a product of certain Russian monks of the 15th century, thru whom the modernist western painting of the NT Trinity entered Mt Athos and from there into Greece and other areas.
I will keep in mind this passage of St. Nikodemos as proof that even saints have fallen into error. As a rebutal i will quote from the first local council to condemn iconoclasm held in Rome in 731 a.d.:
"Whoever removes, destroys, dishonors, or insults the images of the Savior, His Holy Mother, or the Apostles, will not recieve the Holy Body and Blood of the Savior and will be excluded from the Church."
As you can see from the Roman council of 731a.d. One is not condemned as an iconoclast for desecrating God the Father depictions, in fact they never even existed at that time (contrary to what St Nikodemus believes). This is further expanded upon by the 7th Ecumenical council:
Likewise the venerable images of the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, in the humanity He assumed for our salvation , and of our spotless Lady, the Holy Mother of God, and of the angels like unto God, and of the Holy Apostles, Prophets, Martyrs, and of all the Saints, the sacred images of all of these i salute and venerate...."(SESSION 1 7th ecumenical council), As you can see God the Father depictions are NOT included.
The champion of Iconography and a contemporary of the 7th Ecumenical Council, St Theodore the Studite confirms that images of the Trinity or God the Father do not exist nor can they:
"Men and angels are images of God. We are obliged to make icons of both and offer veneration to them...But by discarding images of everything that has a depictable nature you have also discarded images of every heavenly and earthly thing, EXCEPT for the Holy Trinity, for it alone is not made into an icon because it is not a creature but the uncreated."(Censure and Refutation of impuous poems)
St Theodore the Studite used the fact that the Church DOES NOT condone God the Father images as a defense of Icons against the iconoclasts:
"If He is not a prototype of His own Icon, neither was He enfleshed, remaining beyond depictability because of the infinity of His deity."(2nd Refutation of the Iconomachs)
The icon of Christ as the Ancient of Days and Christ as an infant sitting in His lap (erroneously depicted as God the Father in the Shangai church and the false variations known as the 'Paternity' in the russian tradition) is certain imagery borrowed from the Great Vesper Service of the Meeting of the Lord where 2 forms of the same hypostasis of Christ is meant to be depicted as a dichotomy between young and old, Being found in time while being timeless:
"Let the gate of heaven be opened today, For He who is without beginning, The Logos of the Father, has made a beginning in time without forsaking his divinity...."
"The Ancient of Days, a young child in the flesh was brought to the temple by his mother the Virgin fulfilling the ordinance of His own law".
Many of these liturgical quotes have already been posted in a previous reply. As for the anathema mentioned above (from session 5 of the council) is better translated as, "Anathema to those who do not accept the visions of the prophets and reject the iconographies of the wonderous, prophetic visions, of the Logos before the incarnation.... This more accurate translation is verified by the fact that in the Service of The Meeting of our Lord in the Temple, where Christ is mentioned as the Ancient of Days, the OT reading is from Isaiah 6.1-12 another heavenly vision where many originally interpreted to be God the Father, but the worship of our Church verifies it being Christ, the Ancient of Days.