- (1401-ca. 1428)Florentine painter. Despite the small number of paintings he completed before his premature death at age 27, Tommaso di Giovanni di Simone Guidi, nicknamed Masaccio, was one of the most influential painters in the history of art. He was born and trained in Florence and seems to have understood before any other painter the significance of the principle of vanishing-point perspective first applied to sculpture by his fellow Florentines Fil-ippo Brunelleschi and Donatello. The attribution of a number of very early paintings sometimes ascribed to him is an open question, but be-tween 1525 and 1527 he produced a series of frescoes for the Bran-cacci chapel in the Carmelite church of Santa Maria Novella that ex-emplify full mastery of the decisive turn in painting associated with his name. The most striking of these frescoes are Holy Trinity with the Virgin and St. John, The Expulsion from the Garden, which depicts the nude and despairing Adam and Eve being driven out of Eden by the angel, and The Tribute Money, a pictorial representation of an incident from the life of Christ. Each of these three paintings shows mature and sensitive control of the characteristics that art historians define as typ-ical of the early Renaissance (or Quattrocento) style.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.