Art history seems, to the uninitiated, to really begin with the Renaissance. The image of the genius artist touched by grace comes from that era. Yet the Middle Ages paved the way for Raphael, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. Indeed, we forget that Gothic art was a major influence on European culture. Illustrations hitherto not very present in the lives of the people multiplied in all forms.
Some obviously worked on biblical scenes and to accentuate the message that Christianity was more important than other religious streams. Nevertheless, visual artists also worked on saucy images, techniques to represent metals and landscapes. At that time, sculptors created surprising details on the faces of statues. Yet most of these craftsmen are known only to art history insiders.