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Masolino da Panicale

Masolino da Panicale (mäzōlē´nō dä pänēkä´lā), 1383–c.1447, Florentine painter of the early Renaissance, whose real name was Tommaso di Cristoforo Fini. His versatile painting incorporated his feeling for decorative color with strong modeling and spatial organization. He was admitted (1423) to the apothecaries' guild in Florence, in which painters were enrolled, and was soon commissioned to paint the frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel in Florence. These were continued by his pupil Masaccio upon Masolino's departure (1427) for Hungary and were completed by Filippino Lippi, thus greatly complicating the question of authorship; currently scholars attribute to Masolino St. Peter Preaching, St. Peter Healing the Cripple, The Raising of Tabitha, and The Fall of Adam and Eve. Upon his return to Florence, Masolino found painters occupied with problems of perspective, light and shade, and classical architecture and decoration, ideas that he utilized while retaining much of the old Giottesque tradition. He went to Rome where he painted frescoes in the Church of San Clemente for the Cardinal Branda Castiglione. For the same patron he decorated the church of Castiglione di Olona in the province of Como, Italy. There he represented scenes from the life of the Virgin and of St. John the Baptist. Attributed to Masolino are The Foundation of Santa Maria Maggiore and a Madonna and Christ in Glory (Naples); Madonna with Angels (Church of San Fortunato, Todi); two Annunciations (National Gall. of Art, Washington, D.C.); and Saints (Philadelphia Museum).

See B. Berenson, The Italian Painters of the Renaissance (3 vol., 1930, repr. 1968).

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