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"Masaccio: 'The Pisa Altarpiece'"
2001-09-12 until 2001-11-11
National Gallery
London, , UK United Kingdom

This exhibition celebrates the 600th anniversary of the birth of Masaccio by reuniting the Virgin and Child, the main panel of the artists Pisa Altarpiece with surviving fragments from collections in Berlin, Los Angeles, Naples and Pisa.

Tommaso di ser Giovanni, known as Masaccio, was born on 21 December 1401 in San Giovanni Valdarno, south of Florence. It is not known with whom he trained, but he may have spent time in the workshop of the sculptor Donatello. From around 1423 Masaccio collaborated with the painter Masolino, who completed the Santa Maria Maggiore altarpiece after Masaccios death in June 1428. Heir to Giotto, and forerunner of Michelangelo, Masaccio is one of the pioneers of the Italian Renaissance.

The Pisa Altarpiece (1426) is Masaccios only surviving documented work. It was commissioned for the family funerary chapel of the Pisan notary, Giuliano degli Scarsi, in Santa Maria del Carmine, Pisa. The altarpiece was probably broken up in the 16th century when the church was remodelled. The surviving panels, brought together for this exhibition, have been identified from a description of the altarpiece in Giorgio Vasaris Lives of the Painters (1568), the primary source of knowledge about early Tuscan artists such as Masaccio.

IMAGE:
Masaccio,
The Virgin and Child, 1426.
London, National Gallery.


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