Masaccio's Saints Paul And Peter

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Saints Paul and Peter is a lateral panel on the backside of an altarpiece from Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome. It was begun by Masaccio but completed by his close collaborator Masolino between 1427 and 1428 following the early death of Masaccio. A comparison of this piece to those that are attributed solely to Masaccio or Masolino supports the argument, made by Carl Brandon Strehlke, that this piece was designed and started by Masaccio, then altered and completed by Masolino (Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1995). Strehlke believes that Masaccio painted the feet, hands, blue drapery, and designed the positioning of the subjects in this work. The comparison will focus on the style with which the subjects are rendered and the use of light and color…show more content…
Strehlke stated that the hands, feet, blue drapery, and positioning of the subjects are indicative of Masaccio’s hand. The analysis in this paper supports his assertion. Masaccio had the unique ability to render features realistically using shadowing, foreshortening, subtle linear perspective, and bold colors. His close counterpart Masolino painted in more of the International Gothic style where features are rendered more softly and with a glowing whiteness. The subjects are more idealized than those in the Early Renaissance style of Masaccio. However, because the two artists collaborated so closely together, there is a marked degree of crossover between their work. This makes other components such as the brown drapery on Peter harder to attribute to one of the artists. Was it Masaccio or Masolino simply maintaining consistency? What are the markings on the ground and whose idea was it to make them? These are all interesting questions that this paper was not able to answer. Instead it has tried to identify the potential story behind this work of art. The facial expressions and positions of the subjects clearly depict a conflict. An examination of historical events presents only one realistic possibility, the Incident at Antioch. The symbolism in the piece, including Paul’s sword and Bible, also lends support to this

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