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    (December 21, 1401-1428)
    Born in San Giovanni Valdarno, Italy
    Birth name was Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone
    15th-century Florentine painter of the early Renaissance
    'Father of Modern Art'; credited with radically transforming Florentine painting over a period of six years
    Pupil of Tommaso di Cristoforo Fini, better known as Masolino
    Painter of the frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel of the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence (1427)
    Paintings included 'San Giovenale Triptych' (1422), 'Virgin and Child with Saint Anne' (1424–1425), 'The Tribute Money' (1424–1428), 'Holy Trinity' (1425–1428), 'Portrait of a Young Man' (1425), 'Madonna with Child and Angel' (1426), 'Crucifixion' (1426), and 'Nativity' (1427–1428)
    He was allegedly a recluse.
    Art historians dubbed him 'Brutish Thomas.'
    Many believe this is due to the nickname attributed to his mentor, 'Little Thomas,' but the name Masaccio does translate to 'that poor wretch of a Tom.'
    He was known to be eccentric, absent-minded, and careless about his paintings, even for the usual 'starving artist.'
    It remains unclear as to whether he collaborated with Masolino on the St. Catherine frescoes of the Basilica di San Clemente.
    He was one of the most influential painters of the Renaissance, but details on his life are notoriously scarce.
    The details of his life are so obscure that even his place of burial is still disputed.
    What's for sure is that he and his brother were constantly in debt and lived with their mother.
    Records indicate that he feuded sharply with his patrons and left Florence for Rome before the Brancacci Chapel was finished (he apparently died en route, or just after arriving).
    Historical evidence suggests he was probably a child prodigy.
    His art was instrumental in creating the stylistic foundations of Western painting during the Renaissance.
    He was one of the first to use linear perspective in his painting, employing techniques such as vanishing point in art for the first time.
    He moved art away from Gothic style to a more naturalistic style and employed a more realistic perspective (full-dimensioned limbs, emphasis on light and vantage points, attention to atmosphere, etc.)
    Leon Battista Alberti ranked him among five contemporary artists 'who might have rivaled any of the ancient masters, however famous.'
    Only four paintings have been confirmed as affirmatively by his hand (a majority of his work has either been destroyed or are still at large).
    The trend of only valuing and recognizing artists' works until after their deaths probably started with him (you might say he was the James Dean of pre-Renaissance art).
    His life's work, the Brancacci Chapel, was something of a pilgrimage destination for up-and-coming artists in the pre-Renaissance era.
    This would have included Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo Da Vinci, Filippo Lippi, Fra Angelico, and Titian, among countless less successful painters.
    He understood the innovations of his contemporaries (Donatello, Ghiberti, Brunelleschi) as well as his predecessors (Giotto) but improved upon them, revolutionizing those techniques in the process.
    While the commonly accepted story is that he died in a plague, legend has it that he was poisoned by a jealous rival painter (well we know that F. Murray Abraham didn't do it!)

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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