Special thanks to the Microsoft Corporation for permission to use following biographical information from Microsoft® Encarta '98:
Masaccio is considered first great painter of the Italian Renaissance, whose application of scientific perspective and depiction of natural lighting represent an important step in the development of modern painting. He was born in San Giovanni Valdarno, near Florence. Together with architect Filippo Brunelleschi and sculptor Donatello, Masaccio was a founder of Renaissance art and architecture. Only five works unquestionably attributed to him survive (many of the works on this site are only the "educated" attributions of scholars).
Masaccio's fresco Trinity (1425?, Santa Maria Novella, Florence) used full perspective for the first time in Western art. His fresco series for the Brancacci Chapel in Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence (1427?), on which he collaborated with painter Masolino Da Panicale, illustrates another great innovation: Rather than bathing his scenes in flat, uniform light, Masaccio illuminated them from a single light source and created a play of light and shadow that imitated the way light falls on three-dimensional objects. Of the six scenes in this series, The Tribute Money and The Expulsion from Paradise are considered his masterpieces. Masaccio's work strongly influenced later Florentine art, particularly the work of Michelangelo.