During the European Renaissance, the depiction of the human form became more realistic. One could say this trend preceded the realism in fiction: before you could write "the human condition", you had to visualize it.
Here are some examples of Renaissance paintings. (Bear in mind that in those days there wasn't television or computers, so people gave these paintings a lot more attention than we'd do today.).
A 16th-century painting by Botticelli.
A 16th-century painting by Bosch.
A 16th-century painting by d'Aleccio.