Masaccio: Innovator of Perspective and Illusion
Considered the greatest Florentine painter of the early 1400s, Masaccio is one of the most important figures of Western Art. Tommaso di ser Giovanni Cassai di Simon Guidi was born in 1401 and nicknamed Masaccio Careless Tom because of his attitude. He was apathetic to things like personal appearance and worldly materials, and was thus careless with his possessions. As a child, he concentrated more on his art instead of himself and what others thought about him. He moved from Castel S. Giovanni di Altura to Florence in 1417 to become a pupil of Masolino di Panicale. There, he helped upon innovations of art. In 1422 and 1424, he enrolled in the guild of St. Luke of Florentine Painters. After becoming jaded at the medieval art, Masaccio wanted to make art more realistic and true to life. He constantly studied the idea of perspective in an effort to make his paintings appear natural. Few paintings can be undoubtedly credited to Masaccio, but these are considered masterpieces nonetheless. His greatest work was done on the frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence. These frescoes were started by Masolino and ultimately completed by Fillipinno Lippi years after Masaccio's death. This chapel is now a significant monument in the history of art. These frescoes had a tremendous impact on Florentine art thereof, and were used as a basis to teach new artists like Michelangelo and Raphael. It is on these walls that Masaccio created -Expulsion from Eden and The Tribute Money, and many others with Biblical subjects. Probably his most famous, The Tribute Money, gives a superb example of linear perspective, atmospheric perspective, the separation of lines, and the classic color theory. Linear perspective is a mathematical system of fixing objects on a plane of a two dimensional surface. This also involves orthogonals, imaginary lines receding into the distance, horizon line, the horizontal line at...
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