Masolino da Panicale

Masolino da Panicale
(Maso di Cristofano Fini; active c. 1423-1447)
   Masolino has been overshadowed by Masaccio with whom he often collaborated. Studies on his art unfortunately have centered mainly on identifying his intervention in these commissions he shared. One of his early works is the Miracle of the Snow (c. 1423; Naples, Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte), part of the Santa Maria Maggiore Triptych commissioned by Pope Martin V for the Church in Rome bearing the same appellation. In c. 1425, Masolino worked with Masaccio on the frescoes of the Brancacci Chapel at Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, commissioned by Felice Brancacci. Among the scenes he contributed are the Healing of the Lame Man and the Raising of Tabitha and the Temptation. The scenes on the vault and lunettes, destroyed in the 18th century, are also thought to have been by his hand. In c. 1428-1430, Masolino was again in Rome painting frescoes from the life of St. Catherine of Alexandria in the Castiglione Chapel at San Clemente for Cardinal Branda Castiglione. This commission is one of the best examples of the period of propagandist chapel decoration. Masolino's works show that he adopted techniques he learned while working alongside Masaccio, including one-point linear perspective, a single source of light, and cast shadows that enhance the three-dimensionality of forms. Masolino's art is distinguished from Masaccio's, however, in that his figures are more elegant and slender, yet lack the visual impact and emotive power of those rendered by his fellow master.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

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