Masaccio’s 1426 painting, The Virgin and Child, was created using egg tempera on canvas for the Chapel of Saint Julian in Santa Maria del Carmine, Pisa. The religious scene depicts the Virgin Mary with a plump, nude infant exuding innocence while eating grapes. Masaccio utilized linear perspective, with the vanishing point placed at the child’s foot, to create pictorial space.
The artwork is associated with the Adoration of the Magi and showcases Masaccio as one of the founders of the Florentine school of art during the Early Renaissance. Masaccio was a revolutionary painter who emphasized realism and depth using a mathematical approach to his work. His insistence on attention to detail, accuracy of form, and lighting had a significant influence on his contemporaries and the artists who followed him.
Masaccio’s The Virgin and Child remains a significant example of the Early Renaissance’s humanistic tendencies, which aimed to showcase the beauty and perfection in the natural world while emphasizing the spiritual realm. The artwork exemplifies Masaccio’s mastery of linear perspective, a technique that revolutionized the depiction of three-dimensional space in painting.