Italian Artist Masaccio

The Italian Artist Masaccio

The Italian Artist Masaccio

Masaccio was an Italian painter. He was one of the most notable painters of the early Renaissance era. Sometimes, he is referred to as the Father of the Renaissance’. He introduced art styles like the ‘Vanishing Point’ and ‘Linear Perspective’ and brought a three-dimensional effect in some of his paintings. Masaccio’s famous work includes the Holy Trinity’, a Giovenale Triptych’ and The Expulsion from the garden of Eden’.

Tommaso di Giovanni di Simone Cassai’s life is mostly undocumented and very few records are available. It is believed that he was born on December 21’1401 in Italy to Ser Giovenale di Mone cassai and Monna Lacoula. He had one sibling. His father worked as an official in the governments.

The family was traditionally engaged in carpentry. Throughout his life, Masaccio solely cared about painting and was often called ‘‘whimsical’’. He never bothered about people, politics and the government.

Member of Florentine Arte dei Medici Speziali

Most of the novice painters, at the time, sought training under the guidance of an established artist. Masaccio certainly must have apprenticed as well, however no record of that remains. This has made it difficult to pin down his influences since a lot of Renaissance art was born from imitation.


In the late 1420’s, Masaccio became member of Florentine Arte dei Medici Speziali, a painters’ society in Florence. Masaccio’s first painting was called the San Giovenale Triptych’ made in 1422. He dominated most of the Renaissance era. This painting showed the sort of influence the Florentine school of painting had had Masaccio as a young artist. He was influenced by the works of Donatello and Brunelleschi. Together, the three founded the Renaissance.

Garden of Eden

During 1424, he completed Madonna with Child in Saint Anne’. Masaccio was famous for his three- dimensional paintings and also for the Realism that he showed in his portraits. He used a single light source and gave dimension to the human body in his art. For this painting, he collaborated with artist Maslino da panicale. He also worked with Panicale for the rest of his career.      

In 1425, Masaccio produced his most famous work called ‘The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden’. This represented the banishment of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. This highlight of the piece was the expressions on the faces of the figures. Masaccio completed another famous painting’ The Tribute Money’ the same year. It rivals Michelangelo’s David as an icon of Renaissance art. 

The Trinity and Madonna and the Child

Masaccio was offered a project to paint altarpiece for the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine, located in Pisa in 1426. It was one of the Church’s paintings was called ‘Madonna and the Child’. It was considered as his most important work, from an artistic perspective.

In the year 1427, the painter started his most popular work called the ‘The Trinity. It was created for the Church of Santa Maria Novella. This Trinity depicted the Father, the son and the Holy Spirit shown as one. It was regarded as the greatest masterpiece of his career.

Masaccio noticed that illustrated artworks that showed biblical stories or figures had become popular, so he started employing the same art style. He painted a collection of biblical paintings, which narrated the stories through paints. Masaccio was highly sought after by various churches across Italy and created captivating artwork.

Personal Life

The Renaissance period, art was often passed down from father to son. But, Masaccio and his brother’s artistry were like to their grandfather, who was a carpenter.There was no record of Masaccio getting married hi his lifetime. He died in 1428 at the age of 26.

Even though he was not as popular as other Renaissance-era artists, he still thrived as his own way. The light atmosphere showcased in Masaccio’s artwork, significantly matched the artist Giotto’s style.

Masaccio used a more realistic approach towards his art. It was started that prominent artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael, were amazed by the sculptural techniques in Masaccio’s work.