Antiquity is a broadly applied term which refers to the history and culture of a period of Western civilisation. It is primarily used in an art-historical context to describe Greco-Roman life and art in Europe prior to the decline of the Roman empire.
The literary, cultural and architectural remains surviving from Antiquity were particularly valued during the Renaissance. Artists might depict Roman ruins in the background or use classical inscriptions and Roman lettering within a picture. They also sought archaeological exactness in dress.