Masaccio 1401-1428? BACK

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The Brancacci Chapel
ca. 1424-28
Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence

Masaccio painted five of the twelve frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel in Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence, and most of a sixth. Exactly when these were painted and in what order is unknown. Nor is it known why both Masolino, who also worked there, and Masaccio left the chapel before finishing it, nor whether it was he, or Masolino, or both of them, who had the original commission. Masolino painted three of the twelve extant frescoes, apparently somewhat aided by Masaccio, while Filippino Lippi-in the 1480s-painted three frescoes and part of a fourth, one that may have been left unfinished by Masaccio.

Originally, there were also four evangelists painted in the vault, probably entirely by Masolino, and four other tales from the life of Saint Peter, in the lunettes under the vault, probably also by Masolino.

The theme of the chapel, Scenes from the Life of Saint Peter, seems to have been painted only rarely, but we know from the extant frescoes of the same theme at San Piero a Grado near Pisa, that those of the Brancacci Chapel were probably fairly traditional. The paintings at San Piero a Grado seem to have been painted by Deodato Orlandi at the beginning of the fourteenth century. Thirty scenes there include eleven of the nineteen scenes originally in the Brancacci Chapel, but not the Temptation and the Expulsion, which, anyway, are not to do with Saint Peter, nor the Shipwrecking of the Apostles (which was in one of the lost lunettes), Saint Peter Baptizing, Saint Peter Preaching, Saint Paul Visits Saint Peter in Prison, and the double scene of the Resurrection of the Son of Theophilus and Saint Peter in Cattedra.

This listing of artists is not official. It is merely intended to group the artists in an easy to navigate format.

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