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Medieval frescos were intrinsic to architecture and had both a decorative and educational function for the illiterate population, showing in simple terms the wealth and superiority of the nobles and detailing Biblical stories or scenes from the lives of the saints.

Extensive works of art were to be seen in the larger residences, monasteries and churches or palaces, fashioned by specialized painting studios. Less significant buildings were decorated by local, individual artists. Painters in the Middle Ages did not tend to sign their work, and thus largely remain anonymous to this day. Most of the paintings were created by following strict, formally conceived designs and templates, so the styles of individual authors did not differ much. The aim was not originality, but to portray the particular scene masterfully.

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