Contrary to popular conceptions, modern artists are often religious. Some of them are part of mainstream religions including Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism, and Islam. Others try to establish new religions and forms of spirituality based on art itself. A significant number of artists, while alienated from traditional religions, were either part of, or deeply influenced by, new religious movements and esoteric groups. Scholars have particularly focused on the influence of the Theosophical Society on the visual arts, but other movements have also been significant.

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