Masaccio called MASO DA SAN GIOVANNI, one of the earliest and the most celebrated of the Italian painters of the second or middle age of modern painting, the unquestioned founder of the Florentine school, was born at San Giovanni, in Val d'Arno, in the year 1401. He was a disciple of Masolino da Panicale, to whom he proved as much superior as his master was to all his contemporaries. He had great readiness of invention, with unusual truth and elegance of design. He made nature his constant study; and he gave in his works examples of that beauty which arises from a judicious and pleasing choice of attitudes, accompanied with spirit, boldness, and relief. He was the first who studied to give more dignity to his draperies, by designing them with greater breadth and fullness, and omitting the multitude of small folds. He was also the first who endeavored to adapt the color of his draperies to the tints of his carnations, so that they might harmonize with each other. Masaccio was remarkably well skilled in perspective, which he was taught by Brunelleschi. His works procured him great reputation, but excited the envy of his competitors. He is supposed to have been poisoned, and died about 1443. Fuseli savs of him: "Masacchio was a genius, and the head of an epoch in the art. He may be considered as the precursor of Raphael, who imitated his principles, and sometimes transcribed his figures." His most perfect works are the frescoes of St. Pietro del Carmine at Florence. "where vigor of conception, truth and vivacity of expression, correctness of design, and breadth of manner are supported by a most surprising harmony of color;" and the picture of Christ curing the Daemoniacs. The "Arundel Society" has lately published these frescoes in a series of superior chromo-lithographs. See Vasari, Lives of the Painters; Mrs. Jameson, Memoirs of Early Italian Painters.

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