When an icon painter, or rather writer, makes an icon he follows Church Tradition. The icon is a vehicle for truth. In Tradition there can be no depiction of something which has not been seen or rec
orded. Any attempt to show something that never happened would be a fiction.
No one witnessed the Resurrection, and no account of the actual moment exists. What we have is knowledge of the empty tomb and the appearances of Christ afterwards. The Orthodox Church has, therefore, not set much store on attempts to depict the Resurrection itself. There are icons of the myrrh bearing women, and of appearances of the risen Christ.
The normal depiction of the Anastasis, the Resurrection, is sometimes called the Harrowing of Hell, and shows Christ releasing the dead from Sheol, the place of the dead. His descent there forms part of the Nicene Creed, the symbol of our faith. It gets very little mention in the New Testament, although that does not mean that it did not happen, and there is a reference in the First Letter of St Peter, chapter3 v 19 “He went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits”. Some things were so well established that it was not necessary to dwell on them. The New Testament is a collection of writings; each one for a particular time and people. They were not meant as a complete record of the teachings of the Church, rather they were writings which the Church valued as Apostolic. What matters is the teaching of the Church-Holy Tradition- and the New Testament writings were chosen within that Tradition.