History painting is a genre in painting defined by its subject matter rather than any specific period or artistic style. History paintings depict a moment in a narrative story, rather than a specific subject. A 'history painting' is one which has a serious narrative, a documentary description of actual events or includes exemplars of actions which are intended to have didactic overtones.
History paintings usually contain a significant number of figures and the genre includes depictions of moments in religious narratives, for example: The Life of Christ; Middle Eastern culture; narrative scenes from mythology and allegorical scenes. An example of a history painting is Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling.
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