The EncyclopÃ¦dia Britannica says that â€œduring the first three centuries of the Christian Church, . . . there was no Christian art, and the church generally resisted it with all its might. Clement of Alexandria, for example, criticized religious (pagan) art in that it encouraged people to worship that which is created rather than the Creator.â€�
This is the truth from the Holy Scripture
There were no Michelangelos, Da Vincis, Raphaels .... but we have been blessed with them and their visual prayers to the Almighty. The prohibition rather supposes the utmost stupidity of a believer if it is feared that a picture can be seen as God. One can admire the human skill and ingenuity that can be seen in the Sistine Chapel artwork, but there is little danger of viewing the murals as God Almighty. They were done for him not against him.
Today we use the word "worship" in ordinary speech with the meaning of admire or like. Those who honour athletes, artists and saints do not actually worship them. Honour is something different from worship. Man has come a long way from believing idols are gods. The command is against setting up images to OTHER gods, since Yahweh says he is jealous and doesn't want rivals, which is fair enough. But honouring his family and his friends wouldn't incur his jealously or his wrath, one presumes.