Masaccio's "Holy Trinity" is one of the most intellectually and deeply moving pictures ever painted. Located in the Florentine church of Santa Maria Novella, it is remarkable for its early naturalism which initiated the Renaissance painting style, but also for the way it incorporates the material world with deep metaphysical significance. The "Holy Trinity" is both the most rational and mysterious of images in that it creates the convincing illusion of space within a painting.
Tommaso di Giovanni, called Masaccio, was born in San Giovanni Valdarno on the day of St. John Thomas, for whom he was named. Giovanni Cassai, his father, dies when Massaccio was five years old. His mother remarried and his stepsister's husband, Mariotto di Christofano, took him on as an apprentice. Local villagers gave him the cruel nickname of Masaccio because in Italian, it means "Ugly Tom". This may have come about because he was a big awkward man who cared very little about his appearance. His hair and beard were long and unruley and would often wear the same shirt and pants that would be covered by food stains and paint drippings for months at a time. Masaccino's personal life was a comination of being sad, full of adventure, disorderly or agitated, quarelsom and changeable. When he was 20, he went to Florence and soon joined the most modern and prominent artist group there which was headed by sculptor-architect Filippo Brumelleschi and the sculptor Donatello. Together they developed a new art of space and form. Masaccio was able to transform anatomical realism and crucial moments in human relationships into paintings. This was accomplished by using realistic contrasts of light, shade and continuous luminous color.
The "Holy Trinity" was created by Masaccio between 1425 and 1427; and is one of his last major masterpieces and is considered one of his best. The painting is approximately 317 cm (125 in) wide and 667 cm (263 in) in height. The fresco is located along...
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