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Masaccio Hardcover – April 1, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0789200907 ISBN-10: 0789200902 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 245 pages
  • Publisher: Abbeville Press; 1st edition (April 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789200902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789200907
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 11.5 x 13.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,017,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.

Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Few painters have had the impact of Masaccio (1401-28), who helped lay the naturalistic foundations of modern art during a career that seems to have lasted only six years. In his useful synthesis, Spike, an independent scholar and curator living in Florence, successfully summarizes our current understanding of the artist's career. An intelligent introductory essay sorts out his oeuvre's chronology; elucidates aspects of Masaccio's enigmatic relationship with his inferior partner, Masolino; and clarifies his connection with the great innovators Giotto, Brunelleschi, and Donatello. Commentaries accompanying the complete corpus of color illustrations allow further insights into the work's formal qualities and iconography, and a summary catalogue raisonne includes a compilation of early documentary sources, condition reports, and further scholarly discussion. Although not as exhaustive as P. Joannides's Masaccio and Masolino: A Complete Catalogue (Abrams, 1993), this volume should fulfill the requirements of most collections.?Robert Cahn, Fashion Inst. of Technology, New York
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Donald R Ricker on February 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The more spectacular creative adventurers among the vast throngs of human history are recognised with a single name. Masaccio by Spike is a sumptious presentation of the work of two such explorers. Masaccio was a fresco painter in 15th century Florence whose Bible illustrations have been cherished and protected to this day. Spike is an art historian whose erudition is made readable by his genuine admiration of and empathy for the artist Masaccio.
For example, the scholar wading through Spike's preface is rewarded by archipelagos like the following heartwarming conclusion: "Investigations into subject matter can only proceed deeper and deeper into the hidden recesses of the human heart and mind. For this reason, we prefer to study the works of geniuses." (italics added) If Masaccio were alive and working today, certainly he would derive quite a bit of enjoyment from oblique compliments like that! And even Leonardo would have to laugh when he encountered the following notion from the preface: "The stylistic development between the earliest and the latest works (a span of only seven and a half years) is unprecedented and astonishing. Compared to Masaccio, Leonardo da Vinci was a stick-in-the-mud." (italics added)
The beauty of this literary paen to an artist centuries in his grave reflects the incredible power of Masaccio's few paintings to distinguish themselves above excellence. Luxurious color photographs allow lavish attention to details of the frescoes, most notably at the Brancacci Chapel. Black and white photographs in the catalog of Masaccio' known works accompany the provenances and physical details. A section of Comparative Illustrations adds bonus value to this outstanding reference.
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