Masolino da Panicale

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038 le vite, masolino da panicale.jpg
Tommaso di Cristoforo Fini

c. 1383
Diedc. 1447
Known forPainting, fresco
Notable workfrescoes in the Brancacci Chapel
MovementItalian Renaissance
Patron(s)Pipo of Ozora
Cardinal Branda Castiglione

Masolino da Panicale (nickname of Tommaso di Cristoforo Fini; c. 1383 – c. 1447) was an Italian painter. His best known works are probably his collaborations with Masaccio: Madonna with Child and St. Anne (1424) and the frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel (1424–1428).


Masolino ("Little Tom") was possibly born in Panicale near Florence.[1] He may have been an assistant to Ghiberti in Florence between 1403 and 1407.[2] In 1423, he joined the Florentine guild Arte dei Medici e Speziali (Doctors and Apothecaries), which included painters as an independent branch. He may have been the first artist to create oil paintings in the 1420s, rather than Jan van Eyck in the 1430s, as was previously supposed.[3] He spent many years traveling, including a trip to Hungary from September 1425 to July 1427 under the patronage of Pipo of Ozora, a mercenary captain. He was selected by Pope Martin V (Oddone Colonna) on the return of the papacy to Rome in 1420 to paint the altarpiece for his family chapel in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, and later by Cardinal Branda da Castiglione to paint the Saint Catherine Chapel in the Basilica of San Clemente, Rome. In the interim, he collaborated with his younger colleague, Masaccio, to paint the frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel in the Basilica of Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, which were much admired by fellow artists throughout the fifteenth century. He painted a cycle of 300 famous historical figures in the Orsini Palace in Rome about 1433-4[4] and also worked in Todi. He spent his later years, after 1435, working for Cardinal Branda Castiglione in Castiglione Olona.[5]

Early Use of Central Vanishing Point[edit]

Masolino was probably the first painter to make use of a central Vanishing point in his 1423 painting St. Peter Healing a Cripple and the Raising of Tabitha.[6]

St Catherine Refusing to Worship Idols[edit]

"The lunette of the left-hand wall, depicting St Catherine Refusing to Worship Idols. In an elaborate temple setting, Catherine is pointing toward heaven, while the emperor, here bareheaded, gazes up at the idolatrous statue atop the altar. His retainers are crowded behind them, one of them, only partially visible, is sounding a trumpet."[7]

Summary of work[edit]

Section includes external links to works of art.
Madonna and Child, Saint Anne and the Angels
The Annunciation, National Gallery of Art
Madonna dell'Umiltà c. 1423, Tempera on wood, Uffizi Florence

Complete works
In Naples:

In Germany:

In Florence:

  • Cappella Brancacci: cycle of frescoes in collaboration with Masaccio, 1424.
  • Madonna and Child, Saint Anne and the Angels, collaboration with Masaccio, tempera on wood, 1424, Uffizi, Florence.
  • Madonna dell'Umiltà, tempera on wood, 1430–35, Uffizi.

In Empoli:

  • Cristo in Pietà, detached fresco, 1424, Empoli, museum of the Collegiata di Sant'Andrea.
  • Saint Ivo and the Pupils, fresco, 1424, Empoli, Church of Saint Steven.
  • Virgin and Child, fresco, 1424, Empoli, Church of Saint Steven.

In Rome:

  • Fresco of the Life of St Catherine of Alexandria commissioned by Branda da Castiglione in the Basilica di San Clemente, Chapel of Sacrament, 1428.
  • Fresco of the Annunciation in the Basilica di San Clemente, Chapel of Sacrament, 1428.
  • Fresco of St Christopher in the Basilica di San Clemente, Chapel of Sacrament, 1428.
  • Death of the Virgin and Crucifixion, fresco, Pinacoteca Vaticana.

In Castiglione Olona, where his patron was cardinal Branda da Castiglione:

In France:

In the United States:

Dispersed pieces of works


  1. ^ a b His birthplace is unresolved. Possibilities include Panicale in Val d'Elsa (vgl. Vasari, Enciclopedie on line, Catholic Encyclopedia and or Panicale ai Renacci near San Giovanni Valdarno (see Masolino da Panicale. In: Ulrich Thieme, Felix Becker etc.: Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart. Band 24, E. A. Seemann, Leipzig 1930, pages 210–211, National Gallery of Art) and He may have beenFlorenceEB1911|wstitle=Masolino Da Panicale |volume= |short= x }}
  2. ^ "Masolino da Panicale (1383 - 1447)". Alte Pinakothek. Archived from the original on 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2009-01-28.
  3. ^ "Darkness and Depth in Early Renaissance Painting" (PDF). Retrieved 2021-12-09.
  4. ^ Mode, Robert L. (1972). "Masolino, Uccello and the Orsini 'Uomini Famosi'". The Burlington Magazine. pp. 368–378.
  5. ^ Hartt, Frederick; Wilkins, David G. (1994). History of Italian Renaissance art: painting, sculpture, architecture. London: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0-500-23677-1.
  6. ^ "Perspective: The Rise of Renaissance Perspective".
  7. ^ Web Gallery of Art - Fresco

External links[edit]