His scholar, Masaccio, (1402-1443,) continued the series, the completion of which was entrusted to Filippino Lippi, son of Fra Filippo.
No one can doubt that the hearty determination evinced by Masolino and Masaccio to deal with actual life, to grapple to their souls the visible forms of humanity, and to reproduce the types afterwards in new, vivid, breathing combinations of dignity and intelligent action, must have had an immense effect upon the course of Art.
In the presence of Raphael's "Sistine Madonna," Titian's "Peter the Martyr," or Masaccio's great frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel, one feels as if there had been nothing written about these mighty works, so little does any eulogy discriminate the elements of their profound effects, so little have critics expressed their own thoughts and feelings.
Pietro della Francesca was the father of perspective; Domenico painted in oil, discovered by Van Eyck in Flanders, in 1410; Masaccio studied anatomy; gilding disappeared as a background around pictures.
Vasari calls him witty, but gives a not good example of his wit; he seems to have been philanthropic and a patron of poor artists, and he grieved deeply at the untimely death of Masaccio, who painted him in one of the Carmine frescoes, together with Donatello and other Florentines.
But this must be saidthat the new painting and sculpture, particularly the painting of Masaccio and the sculpture of Donatello, had shown the world that the human being could be made the measure of the Divine.
That he read much, we know, the Bible and Dante being constant companions; and we know also that in addition to modelling and copying under Bertoldo, he was assiduous in studying Masaccio's frescoes at the church of the Carmine across the river, which had become a school of painting.
While it was in progress all the young artists came to Sant' Onofrio to study it, as they and its creator had before flocked to the Carmine, where Masaccio's frescoes had for three-quarters of a century been object-lessons to students.
In 1447, when he was born, Fra Angelico was sixty; and Masaccio had been dead for some years.
Crossing the large Tuscan room again, we come to a little narrow room filled with what are now called cabinet pictures: far too many to study properly, but comprising a benignant old man's head, No. 1167, which is sometimes called a Filippino Lippi and sometimes a Masaccio, a fragment of a fresco; a boy from the serene perfect hand of Perugino, No. 1217; two little panels by Fra BartolommeoNo.
Donatello was painted by his friend Masaccio at the Carmine, but the fresco has perished.
The Realists are ushered in by Masolino, Masaccio, Filippo Lippi, and go on in an unbroken series through Botticelli, Filippino Lippi, and Cosimo Roselli, to Domenico Ghirlandajo, Leonardo, Raffaello, and a design of Michel Angelo, painted by one of his pupils.
One professional certificate in our possession, of the last century, ascribes the portrait in question to Masaccio or Sauti di Tito: as sensible a decision as if an English critic had decided that a certain picture of his school was either by Hogarth or Sir Thomas Lawrence.
Let Aunt Victoria, let old Mr. Sommerville, lose their money, and you'd see how unimportant Debussy and Masaccio would be to them, compared to having to black their own shoes!"
Michelangelo adapted to his own uses and bent to his own genius motives originated by the Pisani, Giotto, Giacopo della Quercia, Donatello, Masaccio, while working in the spirit of Signorelli.
Foremost among the pioneers of Renaissance-painting, towering above them all by head and shoulders, like Saul among the tribes of Israel, stands Masaccio.
In Masaccio's management of drapery we discern the influence of plastic art; without concealing the limbs, which are always modelled with a freedom that suggests the power of movement even in stationary attitudes, the voluminous folds and broad masses of powerfully coloured raiment invest his forms with a nobility unknown before in painting.
Masaccio had inestimable value for his contemporaries.
Fra Angelico, now that we know all Masaccio can teach, has a quality so unique that we return again and again to the contemplation of his visions.
Tracing the history of Italian painting is like pursuing a journey down an ever-broadening river, whose affluents are Giotto and Masaccio, Ghirlandajo, Signorelli, and Mantegna.
His greatest works were painted in continuation of Masaccio's frescoes in the Carmine at Florence.
The historical sacred subjects of Masaccio, Ghirlandajo, and Van Eyck, are crowded with portraits of living personages.
In all the greatest examples, from Cimabue, Giotto, and Pietro Cavallini, down to Angelico, Masaccio, and Andrea Mantegna, and their contemporaries, Mary is uniformly standing.
But as the record comes down through the years, each new picture approximates more nearly to the character of the scene attempted, with, occasionally, (as in the works of Masaccio,) touches of truth absolutely perfect, until at last appeared that man altogether at one with Nature, who reproduced Nature in all its glory, pomp, freedom, and life, as might an archangel.
MASACCIO, an Italian painter, born in Florence; went when very young to Rome, where he painted in the church of St. Clement a series of frescoes, his greatest work being the frescoes in the Brancacci chapel of the Carmine church; he was a great master of perspective and colour (1402-1443).