17th-18th Century : Court and Commoner
The religious reform during the 16th and 17th centuries led to a split in the faith of Christianity between Catholicism and Protestantism. In regions where Catholicism prevailed, such as Italy and Flanders, art became a means to preach, to arouse recognition and to stimulate religious fervor. However, in the Netherlands where Protestantism predominated and the societs with much more free spirit, art developed into a style that depicted the daily life of the ordinary people, yet containing religious and moral implications. As in France, under absolute monarchy with divine sovereignty, art became an instrument to honor the monarch, reflecting the styles and tastes of the royal court. Subject matters in this period became diverse that portraits, landscapes, and still lifes replaced mythology and religious genres onto the stage of art.