Massacio and the Revolution in Representation Massacio was the first great painter of the Quattrocento period of the Italian Renaissance. His frescoes introduce a plasticity previously unseen in figure painting. Despite his brief career, he had a profound influence on other artists. He was one of the first to use scientific perspective in his painting, employing techniques such as vanishing point in art for the first time. Masaccio profoundly influenced the art of painting in the Renaissance. According to Vasari, all Florentine painters studied his frescoes extensively in order to "learn the precepts and rules for painting well.” Masaccio's fresco of the Tribute Money in the Brancacci Chapel of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence shows psychologically and physically credible figures illuminated by a light coming from a specific source outside the picture. The light models the figures to produce an illusion of deep sculptural relief. The main group of figures stand solidly in a semi- circle in the foreground of a spacious landscape. Masaccio also employs linear perspective and aerial perspective to enhance the sense of space and distance.
Figure 21-10 MASACCIO, Tribute Money, Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, Italy, ca. 1427. Fresco, 8’ 1” x 19’ 7”.
Figure 21-11 MASACCIO, Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden, Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, Italy, ca. 1425. Fresco, 7’ x 2’ 11”. Masaccio's starkly simple fresco of the Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden employs sharply slanted light from an outside source to create deep relief. The figures appear to have substantial bodily weight and move convincingly over the ground.
Figure 21-12 MASACCIO, Holy Trinity, Santa Maria Novella, Florence, Italy, ca. 1428. Fresco, 21’ x 10’ 5”.
Brunelleschi & Achievements in Architecture There is little biographical information about Brunelleschi's life to explain his transition from goldsmith to builder and, no less importantly, from his training in the gothic or medieval manner to the new classicism in architecture and urbanism that we now loosely call the Renaissance and of which Brunelleschi is considered the seminal figure Brunelleschi’s first architectural commission was the Ospedale degli Innocenti (1419-ca.1445), or Foundling Hospital. It was the first building in Florence to make clear reference - in its columns and capitals - to classical antiquity. Brunelleschi developed his revolutionary system of geometric linear perspective that 15th century artists so eagerly adopted.
Ospedale degli Innocenti (The Foundling Hospital) - Filippo Brunelleschi in architecture, a series of arches carried by columns or piers, a passageway between arches and a solid wall, or a covered walkway that provides access to adjacent shops.
FILIPPO BRUNELLESCHI, dome of Florence Cathedral (view from the south), Florence, Italy, 1420–1436.
Figure 21-14 Cutaway view of dome of Florence Cathedral
FILIPPO BRUNELLESCHI, interior of Santo Spirito
FILIPPO BRUNELLESCHI, early plan of Santo Spirito (left)
FILIPPO BRUNELLESCHI, facade of the Pazzi Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence, Italy, begun ca. 1440. Brunelleschi's plan for the Pazzi Chapel is one of the first independent Renaissance buildings conceived as a central-plan structure where emphasis is placed on the central dome-covered space. Brunelleschi used a basic unit to construct a balanced, harmonious, and regularly proportioned space.