A recurring trend in Christian art was "realism" that emphasized the humanity of religious figures, above all Christ and his physical sufferings in his Passion . Following trends in devotional literature , this developed in the Late Middle Ages , where some painted wooden sculptures in particular strayed into the grotesque in portraying Christ covered in wounds and blood, with the intention of stimulating the viewer to meditate on the suffering that Christ had undergone on his behalf. These were especially found in Germany and Central Europe . After abating in the Renaissance, similar works re-appeared in the Baroque , especially in Spanish sculpture.
Perhaps Michelangelo least well-known paintings can be found in a chapel within the Vatican complex, The Pauline Chapel . This series of frescoes, commissioned by Pope Paul III, are sometimes considered to be inferior to the more famous Sistine Chapel works. The two works completed for the Chapel are, The Conversion of Saul and The Crucifixion of St Peter . These paintings did not follow the conventions of composition of the time but they do need to be viewed from within the long narrow chapel to see them at their best.
The lost The Justice of Trajan and Herkinbald , which survived until the end of the 17th century, consisted of four large panels representing the Justice of Trajan and Justice of Herkenbald . These were commissioned by the City of Brussels for the Gulden Camere (Golden Chamber) of the Brussels Town Hall . The first and third panels were signed, and the first dated 1439. All four were finished before 1450. They were destroyed in the French Bombardment of Brussels in 1695, but are known from many surviving descriptions, from a free partial copy in tapestry (Bern, Historisches Museum) and from other free and partial copies in drawing and painting. The paintings probably measured about m each, which was an enormous scale for a painting on panel at that time. They served as 'examples of justice' for the aldermen of the city who had to speak justice in this room. The paintings were praised or described by a series of commentators until their destruction, including Dürer (1520), Vasari (1568), Molanus (c. 1570–1580), and Baldinucci (1688).