John T. Spike, Author, Masaccio, Author Abbeville Press $125 (245p) ISBN 978-0-7892-0090-7
Magnificent, large, full-page color reproductions distinguish this important monograph on Florentine painter Masaccio (1401-1428), whose naturalistic style during the last seven years of his short life revolutionized Renaissance artists' use of perspective and light. Art historian Spike, who lives in Florence and serves as a guest curator in Europe and the U.S., boldly hypothesizes that the iconography of Masaccio's frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel of Florence--with their descending tiers of heaven, sky, sea and land--was based on the creation story in Genesis. In his engaging essay on Masaccio's life and work, Spike locates sources for the artist's naturalism in Donatello's sculpture and in the classical proportions of Brunelleschi's architecture. Rejecting the prevailing assumption that Filippino Lippi's additions to Masaccio's fresco of Saint Peter, executed in the 1450s, left Masaccio's basic composition intact, Spike argues that Lippi radically reworked the original. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
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