Out of the art of the Aegean, which flourished between 5,000 and 1,000 BC, would develop the art of Greece and ultimately that of Rome. To the
painting was a minor art, mostly confined to the decoration of vases but nevertheless revealing a very
lively sense of composition and realism
murals of Pompeii and Herculaneum
, engulfed by lava and volcanic ash in AD 79 and miraculously preserved as a result, are mute testament to the skills of
, notably in their clever use of line to create a
. As the Roman Empire expanded, art began to be influenced more and more by the East. Religion was a common source of inspiration for artistic content as the medieval period developed, and it was also a centre for the practice of art such as the illuminated manuscripts created in monasteries.