Birth: Dec. 21, 1401
Movement: Early Renaissance
Masaccio’s father died when he was quite young and little is known about his art education, although his younger brother became a painter as well. Masaccio’s full name was Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone but he became known as Masaccio, which meant clumsy and/or messy to differentiated him from another painter named Tommaso, Tommaso di Cristoforo Fini, who became known as Masolino which means little or delicate. Both were painting in Florence and both joined the same art guild in the early 1420’s. Masaccio was one of the first painters to use linear perspective and his use of vanishing points and chiaroscuro gave his paintings a more realistic look and helped move painting from the style of International Gothic to the the aesthetics typical of the Early Renaissance period. He was a decade or so younger than artists such as Donatello and Lorenzo Ghiberti, in the same age cohort as painter Paolo Uccello, and long gone by the time artists such as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci were born. Unfortunately, Masaccio’s painting career was very short as was his life; he died from an unknown cause at age 26.
Some of his notable works include: The Tribute Money pictured below; The Expulsion (1427); Holy Trinity (1427).
Masaccio. The Tribute Money (1425), Brancacci Chapel, Florence, Italy.
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