A wall of icons placed between the nave and sanctuary in an Eastern Orthodox church. It developed from the older custom of placing or painting icons on interior beams and low screens of ancient church buildings. The iconostasis became popular after the thirteenth century, especially in Russia. At the height of its development, the iconostasis had a number of rows of icons. The modern iconostasis is usually much simpler, with the icons arranged so that the view into the sanctuary is not completely obstructed.
Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.