As a cantor, reader, and student of the Byzantine tradition of chanting, I know that Byzantine Chant (iconography in words & song) is a living and evolving tradition. There are always new compositions being made, and even new hymns being written. Many start off being para-liturgical, and then later are melded into the active liturgical life of the church.
Because I don't know much about iconography, though I am interested in it, I would like to know the process and tradition regarding the composition of new iconography.
With Byzantine chant, there is a method to composing new works, which I would consider similar to the traditional canonical way of composing icons. But it's a method that allows for freedom in local and regional traditions and influences, as well as the composition of new works.
I've seen many iconographers argue against newly composed icons, yet I don't understand why they are rejected. I also would like to know what iconographic styles would be acceptable and molded into the existing tradition.
One "new" icon I've seen rejected by some is the following, which depicts the Theotokos & Elizabeth greeting one another, and depicted in their wombs are the Forerunner, and Christ, with the Forerunner bowing to Christ, and Christ giving the blessing:
However, there seems to be a precedent for it, although the example is still probably only a hundred years old, if only a little bit older:
Another icon that I've seen rejected is the Holy Family. I don't know if it is rejected because of Orthodox Romophobia, or because it's uncanonical. But It depicts the Theotokos & St. Joseph holding Christ. I can understand having an problem with icons that show St. Joseph embracing the Theotokos (as they were betrothed, but not wedded, he was a guardian rather than husband), but depicting the three together shouldn't be a huge issue. Although St. Joseph seems to have had trouble comprehending the glorious conception of Christ (don't we all!), he still was a huge part of Christ's life, at least in childhood. In some icons of the flight to Egypt, he's even show carrying Christ.
There is also the Lament of Rachel, which is used by Orthodox pro-life organizations.
So what is acceptable, and what isn't acceptable in the composition of new iconography?