Religion remained at the forefront of everyday life, literature, and art. But Renaissance art saw the emergence of different genres and more common objects.
A characteristic of Renaissance art and literature was the celebration of the individual. The beginning of the Renaissance saw an emergence of self-portraits or portraits as an artistic genre. It was common for princes and other wealthy people to commission portraits of themselves-- often made to reflect how they would wish others to view them. Objects and people of everyday life became the more popular subject matter of paintings as well. Renaissance artists wanted to not only capture natural beauty but attempted to "surpass nature in beauty." Religious images and themes still dominated the art world as people sought God and religious meaning out of everything. But, these images still had Classical symbolism, such as using imagery from Roman mythology to depict Christ or other Christian figures.
Rejecting the premises