From this resulted the artistic danger of soulless, mechanical repetition, which religious painting did not always escape.
The responsibility for this however, must not be merited to the Church, but rather to human slothfulness of mind, for, as a matter of fact, there is an element of mobility in art as it is understood by the Church. Its appeal to the emotions by the representation of facts obliges it to be more and more exactly imitative, and it must adopt the progressive stages of technique to express all the phases of human feeling.
The time had come to display the insignia of Christ's victory with the same material splendour which the State attached to the imperial majesty of Caesar.
The Good Shepherd of the Catacombs and the pastoral scenes gradually disappeared; the last traces of them are found in the rotunda of St. Pudenziana at Rome (before 410), the Cross, which stands in mid-heaven above a Senate of Apostles wearing the laticlave, is already a symbol of triumph.
In the twelfth century Guillaume Durand, the famous Bishop of Mende, wrote in his "Rationale" (I, 3): "The various histories as well of the New as of the Old Testament are depicted according to the inclination of the painters.