Painting of Abu'l Hassan, Persian Ambassador to the Court of St James (England), 1810. Painted by one of the greatest portrait artists of all time, Sir Thomas Lawrence.
What does aniconism mean? It's the absence of images like paintings and statues in a particular society, such as Islam, where there is a proscription against the creation of images of sentient living beings. Images of Allah are absolutely forbidden, followed by depictions of Muhammad, and then Islamic prophets and the relatives of the Prophet.
However, the depiction of all humans and animals is discouraged by the long tradition of Islamic authorities, especially Sunni ones. This has led to Islamic art being dominated by Islamic geometric patterns, calligraphy and the foliage patterns of the arabesque style.