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Originally all images of holy people or references to Christian images was considered taboo. Jewish law forbade the use of images. According to the early Christian Sculpture article in our weekly readings “The early Christian dislike of images revived in the Byzantine Empire, and early in the eighth century the Emperor Leo III gave orders that all sculpture and all pictures in which figures appeared were to be removed from Christian churches, and plaster was to be spread over the mosaics. For over a century this rule was in force in the Byzantine Empire, and ‘iconoclasts’ smashed many carvings and destroyed many pictures. Finally the iconoclasts fell from power and the ban against the use of images was lifted. Mosaics and relief carvings appeared again.” It seems like society and people in power influenced greatly whether images were allowed or not. Early religious followers were strict and new generations realized that as long as the art was being respectful and accurate that it should be allowed.