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The Protestant Reformation had a huge impact on the visual arts in Northern European art. One of the major changes was that religious imagery was no longer the major feature in art. Iconoclasm took over as protestant reformers encouraged the removal of religious images. Many churches were no longer commissioning religious art for display because it was believed that religious imagery was distracting and could lead to idolatry. The patrons of the north became more interested in secular concepts and ideas, and they also wanted their messages about morality to be portrayed in less religious ways. The Reformation led artists to seek patrons outside of the church. Several different types of subject matter were sought after during this time. There became a high demand for small paintings which contained secular subject matter. Landscapes are an example of subject matter which was sought after, this type of artwork was considered appropriate enough to be placed on one’s home.
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