A Brief History of Money and Religion
Taylor calls this the "dematerialization of the token of exchange." In paper currency, money becomes a symbol or image of an idea, removed from the substantive form in which it first carried out its function. Paper currency represents the aestheticization of the commodity, in which the token of exchange becomes a work of art. Money and art meet in the bill whose value is established by an arbitrary act that is no longer secured by gold. The invention of new financial instruments is to the technology of exchange what the invention of machines and the development of scientific instruments is to production technology.
Meanwhile, secular art dominated, as representational painting about religious themes receded in culture importance: George Caleb Bingham, 1845, Fur Traders Descending the Missouri.
Manet, 1881, Bar at the Folie Bergere.
In depicting some form of commerce, both Manet and Bingham refer indirectly to money and commerce, without reference to religion.