Religion and Art

The reason Christendom has left us with great art in Europe is that it was the Catholic Church that had all the money. They had the money because the Romans conquered people and gave it to them. If you were an artist, they were the only ones around paying. That’s 1,000 years of history in 3 sentences, it may contain slight inaccuracies.
There’s a great episode of “Secrets of the Dead" that talks about the mystery around the death of Michelangelo. He was one of the earliest Protestants. The RCC was debating reform, but they decided not to, so Michelangelo had to keep his beliefs secret. It’s quite fascinating.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/episodes/michelangelo-revealed/226/