There were a number of characteristics of the Renaissance that set it apart from the centuries that preceded it in Europe. The period saw a renewed interest in the classical works of Greece and Rome. For this reason, humanism was an important element. Humanism placed an emphasis away from divine images and focused on the greatness of the human form. In the same vein, Renaissance artists and philosophers stressed personal and individual achievement, particularly in the areas of science and architecture. Out of this environment, scientific discovery and business enterprise flourished. Many of the Renaissance artists and thinkers pursued a number of different fields and excelled in a wide array of endeavors. This was a reflection on the importance of learning. With the increased interest in humanism, religion, particularly Catholicism, declined in importance and influence.