The Seventh Ecumenical Council (also known as the Second Council of Nicaea) met in 787 AD in Nicaea (present-day İznik in Turkey) to restore the veneration of icons which had been suppressed by the iconoclast Emperors Leo III (717 - 741) and his son, Constantine V (741 - 775).
The Council determined that ‘As the sacred and life-giving cross is everywhere set up as a symbol, so also should the images of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, the holy angels, as well as those of the saints and other pious and holy men be embodied in the manufacture of sacred vessels, tapestries, vestments, etc…, and exhibited on the walls of churches, in the homes, and in all conspicuous places, by the roadside and everywhere, to be revered by all who might see them. For the more they are contemplated, the more they move to fervent memory of their prototypes. Therefore, it is proper to accord to them a fervent and reverent adoration, not, however, the veritable worship which, according to our faith, belongs to the Divine Being alone — for the honour accorded to the image passes over to its prototype, and whoever adores the image adores in it the reality of what is there represented.’. Saint Basil the Great. The clear distinction between the adoration offered to God, and that accorded to the images may well be looked upon as a result of the iconoclastic reform. However sculpture in the round was condemned as ‘sensual’.