The themes of religion have provided a lot of the content of painting in the West. In great periods of painting, such as the Renaissance in Europe, the wealthy who could afford to hire artists often subsidized major religious paintings as appropiate to the scale of their own palaces and as gifts to religious institutions. The church has been described as the "Mother"of the Arts." Michelangelo was supported by popes and other princes of the church in the production of his greatest paintings. The painting itself may not have specifically reliqious subject matter but may be expressive and in that expression reveal something of the grandeur and misery of the human spirit. The artist who paints religious themes in ways that are religiously powerful might just say "I mix my paints with faith".
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