In history, art has often been used by the church to educate the illiterate. The church invested money to decorate its churches and cathedrals with art depicting scenes from the Bible. Even if not commissioned by the church, artists often chose to depict Biblical scenes. As humanism became more widespread in Europe, however, art steadily became more secular. As classical texts brought about a deeper understanding of the ancient cultures, classical themes such as pagan gods appeared more often in art. Religious art, however, never disappeared. Artists depicted scenes differently. For example, medieval artists depiction of Genesis showed the fall from grace of Adam and Eve, whereas Renaissance artists depicted the creation of man. Normal looking people also entered into the artwork. Artists depicted humans as humans and did not give them unnatural qualities as they had in the past. As people became conscious of their uniqueness, they wanted themselves to be immortalized in art. Patrons asked that they be depicted in artwork, whether as the main figure in the piece or as bystanders. Artists also often made self-portraits or portrayed themselves in the background of their artwork. Gradually, art began to mirror reality more closely.
During the renaissance, a new style of art called International Style, emerged. It was characterized by rich color, decorative detail, curvilinear rhythm and swaying forms. It was called the International Style because many artists in Europe... [continues]
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