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MASACCIO

(Masaccio, C.1401-1428)

"In sculpture Donatello had already given body to the new ideals when Masaccio began his brief career, and in the education, the awakening, of the younger artist the example of the elder must have been of incalculable force. But a type gains vastly in significance by being presented in some action along with other individuals of the same type; and here Donatello was apt, rather than to draw his meed of profit, to incur loss by descending to the obvious - witness his bas reliefs at Siena, Florence, and Padua. Masaccio was untouched by this taint. Types, in themselves of the manliest, he presents with a sense for the materially significant which makes us realize to the utmost their power and dignity; and the spiritual significance thus gained he uses to give the highest import to the event he is portraying; this import, in turn, gives a higher value to the types, and thus, whether we devote our attention to his types or to his action, Masaccio, keeps us on a high plane of reality and significance. In later painting we shall easily find greater science, greater craft, and greater perfection of detail, but greater reality, greater significance, I venture to say, never. Dust bitten and ruined though his Brancacci Chapel frescoes now are, I never see them without the strongest stimulation of my tactile consciousness. I feel that I could touch every figure, that it would yield a definite resistance to my touch, that I should have to expend thus much effort to displace it, that I could walk around it. In short, I scarcely could realize it more, and in real life I should scarcely realize it so well, the attention of each of us being too apt to concentrate itself upon some dynamic quality, before we have at all begun to realize the full material significance of the person before us. Then what strength to his young men, and what gravity and power to his old! How quickly a race like this would possess itself of the earth, and brook no rivals but the forces of nature! Whatever they do - simply because it is they - is impressive and important, and every movement, every gesture, is world changing. Compared with his figures, those in the same chapel by his precursor, Masolino, are childish, and those by his follower, Filippino, unconvincing and without significance, because without tactile values. Even Michelangelo, where he comes in rivalry, has, for both reality and significance, to take a second place. Compare his 'Expulsion from Paradise' (in the Sixtine Chapel) with the one here by Masaccio. Michelangelo's figures are more correct, but far less tangible and less powerful; and while he represents nothing but a man warding off a blow dealt by a sword, and a woman cringing with ignoble fear,Masaccio's Adam and Eve stride away from Eden heart broken with shame and grief, hearing, perhaps, but not seeing, the angel hovering high overhead who directs their exiled footsteps.

Masaccio, then, like Giotto a century earlier - himself the Giotto of an artistically more propitious world - was, as an artist, a great master of the significant, and, as a painter, endowed to the highest degree with a sense of tactile values, and with a skill in rendering them. In a career of but few years he gave to Florentine painting the direction it pursued to the end. In many ways he reminds us of the young Bellini. Who knows? Had he but lived as long, he might have laid the foundation for a painting not less delightful and far more profound than that of Venice. As it was, his frescoes at once became, and for as long as there were real artists among them remained, the training school of Florentine painters."

- From Bernard Berenson, "Italian Painters of the Renaissance"

 MASACCIO_TRINITY_MARY

Masaccio Trinity (Detail of Mary) 1427-28 Fresco 21' 10 1/2" x 10' 4 7/8" (6.67 x 3.17 m) Santa Maria Novella, Florence

 MASACCIO_TRINITY_JOHN

Masaccio Trinity (Detail of Saint John) 1427-28 Fresco 21' 10 1/2" x 10' 4 7/8" (6.67 x 3.17 m) Santa Maria Novella, Florence

 MASACCIO_TRINITY

Masaccio Trinity 1427-28 Fresco 21' 10 1/2" x 10' 4 7/8" (6.67 x 3.17 m) Santa Maria Novella, Florence

 MASACCIO_SHADOW_DETAIL

Masaccio Saint Peter Healing with His shadow (detail) 1425-26 Fresco 91 3/8 x 63 3/4 in. (232 x 162 cm) Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence

 MASACCIO_SHADOW

Masaccio Saint Peter Healing with His Shadow 1425-26 Fresco 91 3/8 x 63 3/4 in. (232 x 162 cm) Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence

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Masaccio The Virgin and Child 1426 Egg tempera on poplar 135.5 x 73 cm National Gallery, London

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Masaccio Tribute Money (right side) c. 1424-28 Fresco Brancacci Chapel, Florence

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Masaccio Tribute Money (left side) c. 1424-28 Fresco Brancacci Chapel, Florence

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Masaccio Profile Portrait of a Young Man c. 1425 Tempera on wood 16 5/8 x 12 3/4 in. (42 x 32 cm) National Gallery of Art, Washington

 MASACCIO_masaccio_peter

Masaccio The Crucifixion of St Peter - The Beheading of St John the Baptist (predella panel from the Pisa Altar) 1426 Poplar 8 3/16 x 23 13/16 in. (21 x 61 cm) Gemaeldegalerie, Berlin

 MASACCIO_masaccio_nicholas

Masaccio St. Julius Slaying His Parents - St. Nicholas Saving Three Sisters from Prostitution (predella panel from the Pisa Altar) 1426 Poplar 8 3/16 x 23 13/16 in. (21 x 61 cm) Gemaeldegalerie, Berlin

 MASACCIO_masaccio_neophytes

Masaccio Baptism of the Neophytes c. 1424-28 Fresco Brancacci Chapel, Florence

 MASACCIO_masaccio_metterza

Masaccio St. Anne Metterza c. 1424 Tempera on panel 68 7/8 x 40 9/16 in. (175 x 103 cm) Uffizi, Florence

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Masaccio Saints Liberius (?) and Matthias c. 1428 Egg tempera on poplar, transferred to synthetic panel 114.5 x 55 cm National Gallery, London

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Masaccio Madonna and Child c. 1426 Tempera on panel 9 5/8 x 7 7/8 in. (24.5 x 18 cm) Uffizi, Florence

 MASACCIO_masaccio_jerome

Masaccio SS. Jerome and Augustine (panel from the Pisa Altar) 1426 Poplar 14 13/16 x 4 7/8 in. (38 x 12.5 cm) Gemaeldegalerie, Berlin

 MASACCIO_masaccio_expulsion_dtl

Masaccio Expulsion from the Garden of Eden Detail c. 1424-28 Fresco Brancacci Chapel, Florence

 MASACCIO_masaccio_expulsion

Masaccio Expulsion from the Garden of Eden c. 1424-28 Fresco Brancacci Chapel, Florence

 MASACCIO_masaccio_enthroned_dtl

Masaccio St. Peter Enthroned Detail c. 1424-28 Fresco Brancacci Chapel, Florence

 MASACCIO_masaccio_enthroned

Masaccio St. Peter Enthroned c. 1424-28 Fresco Brancacci Chapel, Florence

 MASACCIO_masaccio_carmelite

Masaccio Two Carmelite Saints (panel from the Pisa Altar) 1426 Poplar 14 13/16 x 4 7/8 in. (38 x 12.5 cm) Gemaeldegalerie, Berlin

 MASACCIO_masaccio_adoration

Masaccio The Adoration of the Magi (predella panel from the Pisa Altar) 1426 Poplar 8 3/16 x 23 13/16 in. (21 x 61 cm) Gemaeldegalerie, Berlin

 MASACCIO_JEROME_JOHN_DETAIL

Masaccio Saint Jerome and Saint John the Baptist (DETAIL) (from the Colonna Altarpiece) 1423-24 Tempera and oil mix (?) and gold leaf on panel 44 7/8 x 17 7/8 in. (114 x 45.5 cm) National Gallery, London

 MASACCIO_JEROME_JOHN

Masaccio Saint Jerome and Saint John the Baptist (from the Colonna Altarpiece) 1423-24 Tempera and oil mix (?) and gold leaf on panel 44 7/8 x 17 7/8 in. (114 x 45.5 cm) National Gallery, London

 MASACCIO_ANANIAS_DETAIL

Masaccio Saint Peter Distributing Alms and the Death of ananias (Detail) 1425-26 Fresco 91 3/8 x 61 7/8 in. (232 x 157 cm) Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence

 MASACCIO_ANANIAS

Masaccio Saint Peter Distributing Alms and the Death of Ananias 1425-26 Fresco 91 3/8 x 61 7/8 in. (232 x 157 cm) Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence

masaccio_The_Expulsion_from_Paradise

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio. The Expulsion from Paradise. 1427. Fresco. Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, Italy

masaccio_St _Peter_Baptizing_the_Neophytes

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio. St. Peter Baptizing the Neophytes. 1425. Fresco. Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, Italy

masaccio_Rendering_of_the_Tribute_Money_(detail)

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio. Rendering of the Tribute Money (detail). 1425. Fresco. Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, Italy.

masaccio_Rendering_of_the_Tribute_Money_(detail)

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio. Rendering of the Tribute Money (detail). 1425. Fresco. Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, Italy

masaccio_Rendering_of_the_Tribute_Money_(detail)

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio. Rendering of the Tribute Money (detail). 1425. Fresco. Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, Italy

masaccio_Distribution_of_the_Goods_of_the_Community_and_the_Death_of_Ananias

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio. Distribution of the Goods of the Community and the Death of Ananias. 1425. Fresco. Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, Italy

masaccio_Distribution_of_the_Goods_of_the_Community_and_the_Death_of_Ananias_(detail)

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio. Distribution of the Goods of the Community and the Death of Ananias (detail). 1425. Fresco. Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, Italy

masaccio_Distribution_of_the_Goods_of_the_Community_and_the_Death_of_Ananias_(detail)

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio. Distribution of the Goods of the Community and the Death of Ananias (detail). 1425. Fresco. Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, Italy

masaccio_Raising_of_the_Son_of_Theophilus_(detail)

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio and Filippino Lippi. Raising of the Son of Theophilus (detail).1425-1485. Fresco. Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, Italy.

masaccio_Raising_of_the_Son_of_Theophilus_(detail)

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio and Filippino Lippi. Raising of the Son of Theophilus (detail). 1425-1485. Fresco. Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, Italy.

masaccio_Raising_of_the_Son_of_Theophilus_(detail)

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio and Filippino Lippi. Raising of the Son of Theophilus (detail). 1425-1485. Fresco. Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, Italy.

masaccio_Raising_of_the_Son_of_Theophilus_(detail)

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio and Filippino Lippi. Raising of the Son of Theophilus (detail). 1425-1485. Fresco. Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, Italy.

masaccio_Birth_Salver

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio. Birth Salver. c.1420. Tempera on panel. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, Germany.

masaccio_Two_Carmelite_Saints

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio. Two Carmelite Saints. Panels from the Pisa Altar. 1426. Tempera on panel. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, Germany

masaccio_St _Jerome_and_St

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio. St. Jerome and St. Augustine. Panels from the Pisa Altar. 1426. Tempera on panel. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, Germany.

masaccio_The_Cricifixion_of_St

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio. The Cricifixion of St. Peter. The Beheading of St. John the Baptist. Predella from the Pisa Altar. 1426. Tempera on panel. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, Germany

masaccio_The_Adoration_of_the_Magi

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio. The Adoration of the Magi. Predella from the Pisa Altar. 1426. Tempera on panel. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, Germany.

masaccio_St _Julian_Slaying_His_Parents

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio. St. Julian Slaying His Parents. St. Nicholas Saving Three Sisters From Prostitution. Predella from the Pisa Altar. 1426. Tempera on panel. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, Germany.

masaccio_Madonna_and_Child

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio. Madonna and Child. After 1426. Tempera on panel. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy.

masaccio_Portrait_of_a_Young_Man

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio. Portrait of a Young Man. c.1425. Tempera on panel. The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA

masaccio_St _Giovenale_Triptych

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio. St. Giovenale Triptych. 1422. Tempera on panel. Parish church of St. Pietro, Cascia di Raggello, Florence, Italy.

masaccio_Rendering_of_the_Tribute_Money_(detail)

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio. Rendering of the Tribute Money (detail). 1425. Fresco. Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, Italy

masaccio_Crucifixion

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio. Crucifixion. Panel from the Pisa Altar. 1426. Tempera on panel. Museo di Capodimonte, Naples, Italy

masaccio_The_Holy_Trinity_with_the_Virgin,_St

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio. The Holy Trinity with the Virgin, St. John and Two Donors. 1426-28. Fresco. Santa Maria Novella, Florence, Italy

masaccio_Madonna_Enthroned

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio. Madonna Enthroned. Panel from the Pisa Altar. 1426-27. Tempera on panel. National Gallery, London, UK.

masaccio_Rendering_of_the_Tribute_Money

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio. Rendering of the Tribute Money. 1425. Fresco. Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, Italy

masaccio_Rendering_of_the_Tribute_Money_(detail)

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio. Rendering of the Tribute Money (detail). 1425. Fresco. Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, Italy

masaccio_Rendering_of_the_Tribute_Money_(detail)

Masaccio

Masaccio

Masaccio. Rendering of the Tribute Money (detail). 1425. Fresco. Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, Italy