A Short History of Italian Painting

By Alice Van Vechten Brown; William Rankin | Go to book overview

MASOLINO AND MASACCIO1

I
MASOLINO

1384-c. 1440

THE Florentine Gaddesque painters were, as a whole, stamped with a formal mould. Even Giovanni da Milano and others like him hardly transcend tradition. The true Renaissance began in Florence, as elsewhere, in a revolt from convention, and this movement centred in Masaccio and his master Masolino, who represent an entire change in aim. With Masaccio, as with many great painters, there is a difficulty in disentangling pupil from master. Authorities still differ as to where Masaccio's work begins and where that of his reputed master, Masolino, ends.2

Masolino was a painter of Florence, living in the late trecento and early quattrocento, and related to the Gaddi through his master Starnina,3 who was a pupil of Antonio Veneziano. We have a traditional account of Masolino by Vasari, which, with other bits of evidence, gives a clue to his life as spent in various places, including North Italy, where he may have received northern influences, and Rome, and a stay of some length in Hungary. Vasari also affirms the intimate relationship between him and Masaccio. Important works are attributed to him at Castiglione d'Olona, in North Italy; in the Church of the Carmine (Brancacci Chapel), Florence; and in San Clemente,

____________________
1
See Schmarsow B. B., and Toesca, Masolino da Panicale. Vas. ( Masolino) deficient. See Mil., Stor. dell' Arte Tosc., 1873, 285 ff., and Notes to Vasari, for data of life. Also Richter in Bell's ed. of Vas. C. & C.'s criticism of Masaccio is important.
2
Toesca, Masolino, etc., follows B. B. and Richter in viewing Masolino's work as less overlaid by that of his pupil, C. & C. minimise Masolino's part.
3
According to Vasari. A relationship not unlikely, see Mil., Vas., II, 264, n. 2. None of Starnina's works have been certainly identified, see p. 63 and n. 1.

-101-

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