For religious or political reasons, or simply to express their feelings and emotions, always and everywhere people engaged in this mysterious activity: the creation of beauty.
Art has always responds primarily to the needs of the society in which it originated. Needing an intermediary between man and the gods created them, civilization endow a work of art of religious function. It also carries political meaning: in front of pictures of kings or emperors people experience the awe and admiration. Exhibited in the museum of works of art, of course, lose their religious and political functions previously possessed, but retain the power of beauty.
Witchcraft and Religion
Since prehistoric times, people seek the protection of the gods. They did it with the help of paintings, such as the cave paintings of Lascaux cave (see. P. 16-17) and sculptures, which we are considering today mainly as a work of art. These works – at the same time the story of the hunt, and prayer is to catch a game, or to protect against ferocious predators. Later, in Egypt and Greece, artwork become vested as a mediator between the earth and the afterlife. Moreover, the peoples of Africa and Oceania credited their masks and statuettes magical powers. For example, the effect on the maturation of the crop or the recovery of the patient. For Christians, Buddhists or works of religious art are intended to strengthen the spirit of the faithful during prayer and meditation. Talking about the righteous life of Christ or Buddha, they show people the ideal model of behavior.
European art in the period from the Middle Ages to the XVIII century has created a huge number of images of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary and the saints.
Sculptures by the great masters of the classical era of ancient Greece provide an example of perfection, ideal beauty that has been accessed in the following centuries many artists.