Cattedrale dei Santi Pietro e Donato

Santa Maria della Pieve

Basilica di San Francesco

Chiesa di San Domenico


Bargello Museum

Battistero di San Giovanni

Churches, cathedrals, basilicas and monasteries of Florence

Galleria dell'Accademia

Loggia dei Lanzi

Loggia del Bigallo (Museo del Bigallo)

Chiesa di Ognissanti

Palazzi in Florence

Palazzo Davanzati

Palazzo Medici Riccardi

Palazzo Pitti

Palazzo Rucellai

Palazzo Strozzi

Palazzo Vecchio

Piazze in Firenze

Ponte Vecchio

San Lorenzo

San Marco

San Miniato al Monte

Santa Croce

Santa Maria del Carmine

Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo)

Santa Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi

Santa Maria Novella

Basilica di Santa Trinita

Santissima Annunziata

Uffizi Gallery

Vasari Corridor


Camposanto Monumentale

San Paolo a Ripa d'Arno

San Pietro a Grado


Chiesa Collegiata (Duomo)



Palazzo Pubblico






 

             
 
Masaccio, Portrait of a Young Man (1425) - wood, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.


Travel guide for Tuscany
       
   

Masaccio

   
   
Masaccio (December 21, 1401 – autumn 1428), born Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone, was the first great painter of the Quattrocento period of the Italian Renaissance. According to Vasari, Masaccio was the best painter of his generation because of his skill at recreating lifelike figures and movements as well as a convincing sense of three-dimensionality.[1]

The name Masaccio is a humorous version of Maso (short for Tommaso), meaning "big", "fat", "clumsy" or "messy" Tom. The name may have been created to distinguish him from his principal collaborator, also called Maso, who came to be known as Masolino.
Despite his brief career, he had a profound influence on other artists. He was one of the first to use Linear perspective in his painting, employing techniques such as vanishing point in art for the first time. He also moved away from the International Gothic style and elaborate ornamentation of artists like Gentile da Fabriano to a more naturalistic mode that employed perspective and chiaroscuro for greater realism.

Early life

Masaccio was born to Giovanni di Simone Cassai and Jacopa di Martinozzo in Castel San Giovanni di Altura, now San Giovanni Valdarno (today part of the province of Arezzo, Tuscany). His father was a notary and his mother the daughter of an innkeeper of Barberino di Mugello, a town a few miles south of Florence. His family name, Cassai, comes from the trade of his paternal grandfather Simone and granduncle Lorenzo, who were carpenters - cabinet makers ("casse", hence "cassai"). His father died in 1406, when Tommaso was only five; in that year a brother was born, called Giovanni (1406–1486) after the dead father. He also was to become a painter, with the nickname of lo Scheggia meaning "the splinter." In 1412 Monna Jacopa married an elderly apothecary, Tedesco di maestro Feo, who already had several daughters, one of whom grew up to marry the only other documented painter from Castel San Giovanni, Mariotto di Cristofano (1393–1457).
There is no evidence for Masaccio's artistic education. Renaissance painters traditionally began an apprenticeship with an established master at about the age of 12; Masaccio would likely have had to move to Florence to receive his training, but he was not documented in the city until he joined the painters guild (the Arte de' Medici e Speziali) as an independent master on January 7, 1422, signing as "Masus S. Johannis Simonis pictor populi S. Nicholae de Florentia."


 

First Works

The first works attributed to Masaccio are the San Giovenale Triptych (1422) and the Virgin and Child with Saint Anne (Sant'Anna Metterza)(c. 1424) at the Uffizi.
The San Giovenale altarpiece was only discovered in 1961 in the church of San Giovenale at Cascia di Reggello, which is very close to Masaccio's hometown. It represents the Virgin and Child with angels in the central panel, Sts. Bartholomew and Blaise on the left panel, and Sts. Juvenal (i.e. San Giovenale) and Anthony Abbot in the right panel. The painting has lost much of its original framing, and its surface is badly abraded.[5] Nevertheless, Masaccio's concern to suggest three-dimensionality through volumetric figures and foreshortened forms (a revival of Giotto's approach, rather than a continuation of contemporary trends) is already apparent.
The second work, the Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, was perhaps Masaccio's first collaboration with the older and already-renowned artist, Masolino da Panicale (1383/4-c. 1436). The circumstances of the 2 artists' collaboration are unclear; since Masolino was considerably older, it seems likely that he brought Masaccio under his wing, but the division of hands in the Virgin and Child with Saint Anne is so marked - Masolino is believed to have painted the figure of St. Anne and the angels that hold the cloth of honor behind her, while Masaccio painted the more important Virgin and Child on their throne - that it is hard to see the older artist as the controlling figure in this commission.[6] Masolino's figures are delicate, graceful and somewhat flat, while Masaccio's are solid and hefty.

Maturity

In Florence, Masaccio could study the works of Giotto and become friends with Brunelleschi and Donatello. According to Vasari, at their prompting in 1423 Masaccio travelled to Rome with Masolino: from that point he was freed of all Gothic and Byzantine influence, as may be seen in his altarpiece for the Carmelite Church in Pisa. The traces of influences from ancient Roman and Greek art that are present in some of Masaccio's works presumably originated from this trip: they should also have been present in a lost Sagra, (today known through some drawings, including one by Michelangelo), a fresco commissioned for the consecration ceremony of the church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence (April 19, 1422). It was destroyed when the church's cloister was rebuilt at the end of the 16th century.

 

Brancacci Chapel

In 1424 the well and known duo of Masaccio and Masolino was commissioned by the powerful and rich Felice Brancacci to execute a cycle of frescoes for the Brancacci Chapel in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence. [2] Painting began around 1425 with the two artists probably working simultaneously. For reasons that are unclear they left the chapel unfinished, and it was completed by Filippino Lippi in the 1480s. The iconography of the fresco decoration is somewhat unusual. While the majority of the frescoes represent the life of St. Peter, 2 scenes, on either side of the threshold of the chapel space, depict the temptation and expulsion of Adam and Eve. As a whole the frescoes represent human sin and its redemption through the actions of Peter, the first pope. The style of Masaccio's scenes shows the influence of Giotto especially. Figures are large, heavy, and solid; emotions are expressed through faces and gestures; and there is a strong impression of naturalism throughout the paintings. Unlike Giotto, however, Masaccio uses linear and atmospheric perspective, directional light, and chiaroscuro, which is the representation of form through light and color without outlines. As a result his frescoes are even more convincingly lifelike than those of his trecento predecessor.

The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, depicts a distressed Adam and Eve, chased from the garden by a threatening angel. Adam covers his face to express his shame, while Eve's shame requires her to cover her body. The fresco had a huge influence on Michelangelo. Another major work is The Tribute Money in which Jesus and the Apostles are depicted as neo-classical archetypes. Scholars have often noted that the shadows of the figures all fall away from the chapel window, as if the figures are lit by it; this is an added stroke of verisimilitude and further tribute to Masaccio's innovative genius. In the Resurrection of the Son of Theophilus he painted a pavement in perspective, framed by large buildings to obtain a three-dimensional space in which the figures are placed proportionate to their surroundings. In this he was a pioneer in applying the newly discovered rules of perspective.

On September 1425 Masolino left the work and went to Hungary. It is not known if this was because of money quarrels with Felice or even if there was an artistic divergence with Masaccio. It has also been supposed that Masolino planned this trip from the very beginning, and needed a close collaborator who could continue the work after his departure. But Masaccio left the frescoes unfinished in 1426 in order to respond to other commissions, probably coming from the same patron. However, it has also been suggested that the declining finances of Felice Brancacci were insufficient to pay for any more work, so the painter therefore sought work elsewhere.

Masaccio returned in 1427 to work again in the Carmine, beginning the Resurrection of the Son of Theophilus, but apparently left it, too, unfinished, though it has also been suggested that the painting was severely damaged later in the century because it contained portraits of the Brancacci family, at that time excoriated as enemies of the Medici. This painting was either restored or completed more than fifty years later by Filippino Lippi. Some of the scenes completed by Masaccio and Masolino were lost in a fire in 1771; we know about them only through Vasari's biography. The surviving parts were extensively blackened by smoke, and the recent removal of marble slabs covering two areas of the paintings has revealed the original appearance of the work.

Art in Tuscany | Masaccio | Brancacci Chapel in Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence

 

 

Adamo ed Eva sono raffigurati nudi, con uno straordinario realismo. In questo caso si intuisce come anche i difetti, per altro minori (come la caviglia di Adamo un po' tozza), non siano dovuti a imperizia, ma a una ricerca di maggiore espressività. I due protagonisti sono rappresentati in espressioni di toccante dolore e condividono la loro colpa senza accusarsi a vicenda.


Masaccio provided a large inspiration to the more famous Renaissance painter Michelangelo, due to the fact that Michelangelo's teacher, Ghirlandaio, looked almost exclusively to him for inspiration for his religious scenes. Ghirlandaio also imitated various designs done by Masaccio. This influence is most visible in Michelangelo's The Fall of Man and the Expulsion from the Garden of Eden on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Arte in Toscana | Masaccio | La Cacciata dal Paradiso Terrestre

 
Masaccio, The Expulsion Of Adam and Eve from Eden, Brancacci Chapel, fresco before and after restoration

Trinity, Santa Maria Novella, Florence

   
Masaccio, Trinity
Masaccio, Trinity, 1425-28, fresco, 640 x 317 cm, Santa Maria Novella, Florence
     

Around 1427 Masaccio won a prestigious commission to produce a Holy Trinity for the Dominican church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence. No contemporary documents record the patron of the fresco, but recently references to ownership of a tomb at the foot of the fresco have been found in the records of the Berti family of the Santa Maria Novella Quarter of Florence. This working-class family expressed a long-standing devotion to the Trinity, and may well have commissioned Masaccio's painting. Probably it is the male patron who is represented to the left of the Virgin in the painting, while his wife is right of St. John the Evangelist. The fresco, considered by many to be Masaccio's masterwork, is the earliest surviving painting to use systematic linear perspective, possibly devised by Masaccio with the assistance of Brunelleschi himself.

Trinity is the most famous work of Masaccio beside the frescoes in the Cappelle Brancacci. There are various opinions as to exactly when this fresco was painted between 1425 and 1428. It was described in detail by Vasari in 1568, who emphasized the virtuosity of the "trompe l'oeil" in the architectural structure of the painting: "a barrel vault drawn in perspective, and divided into squares with rosettes which diminish and are foreshortened so well that there seems to be a hole in the wall."

Only two years after Vasari's book was published, the erection of a stone altar caused the fresco to be covered up by a panel of the Madonna of the Rosary painted by Vasari himself. Thus the fresco remained unknown for further generations from 1570 to 1861 when owing to the removal of the 16th century altar it was again uncovered. After being removed and placed on the internal facade of the church between the left and the central doors, it was put back in its original position in 1952, as a result of the discovery, beneath the 19th century neo-Gothic altar, of the lower section of the fresco with Adam's skeleton and the painted altar table, once part of the whole work.

The reconstructed work was taken up by critics as the symbol and revelation of Brunelleschi's principles in architecture and the use of perspective, to the point that some believed Brunelleschi to have had a direct hand in the work.

The most likely interpretation of the Trinity is that the painting alludes to the traditional medieval double chapel of Golgotha, with Adam's tomb in the lower part (the skeleton) and the Crucifixion in the upper part. But it can also assume the significance of the journey the human spirit must undertake to reach salvation, rising from the earthly life (the corruptible body) through prayer (the two petitioners) and the intercession of the Virgin and saints (John the Evangelist) to the Trinity.

The sacred figures and the donors are represented above an image of a skeleton lying on a sarcophagus. An inscription seemingly carved into the wall above the skeleton reads: "IO FUI GIA QUEL CHE VOI SIETE E QUEL CH'IO SONO VOI ANCO SARETE" (I once was what you are now, what I am you shall be). This skeleton is at once a reference to Adam, whose sin brought humans to death and a reminder to viewers that their time on earth is transitory. It is only through faith in the Trinity, the fresco suggests, that one overcomes this death.

Art in Tuscany | Masaccio | Trinity, Santa Maria Novella, Florence

 
Masaccio, Trinity
Trinity, about 1427-1428
Fresco, Florence, Santa Maria Novella
The Tribute Money

 
The boldness of conception and execution — the paint is applied in sweeping, form-creating bold slashes — of the Expulsion of Adam and Eve marks all of Masaccio’s frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel. The most famous of these is The Tribute Money, which rivals Michelangelo’s David as an icon of Renaissance art.
The Tribute Money,
which depicts the debate between Christ and his followers about the rightness of paying tribute to earthly authorities, is populated by figures remarkable for their weight and gravity. Recalling both Donatello’s sculptures and antique Roman reliefs that Masaccio saw in Florence, the figures of Christ and his apostles attain a monumentality and seriousness hitherto unknown. Massive and solemn, they are the very embodiments of human dignity and virtue so valued by Renaissance philosophers and humanists.
Masaccio, The Tribute Money, fresco in the Brancacci Chapel in Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence

The figures of The Tribute Money and the other frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel are placed in settings of remarkable realism. For the first time in Florentine painting, religious drama unfolds not in some imaginary place in the past but in the countryside of Tuscany or the city streets of Florence, with St. Peter and his followers treading the palace-lined streets of an early 15th-century city. By setting his figures in scenes of such specificity, Masaccio sanctified and elevated the observer’s world. His depiction of the heroic individual in a fixed and certain place in time and space perfectly reflects humanistic thought in contemporary Florence.
The scene depicted in The Tribute Money is consistently lit from the upper right and thus harmonizes with the actual lighting of the chapel, which comes from a window on the wall to the right of the fresco. The mountain background of the fresco is convincingly rendered using atmospheric perspective; an illusion of depth is created by successively lightening the tones of the more distant mountains, thereby simulating the changes effected by the atmosphere on the colours of distant objects. In The Tribute Money, with its solid, anatomically convincing figures set in a clear, controlled space lit by a consistent fall of light, Masaccio decisively broke with the medieval conception of a picture as a world governed by different and arbitrary physical laws. Instead, he embraced the concept of a painting as a window behind which a continuation of the real world is to be found, with the same laws of space, light, form, and perspective that obtain in reality. This concept was to remain the basic idiom of Western painting for the next 450 years.
The Pisa Altarpiece

On February 19, 1426 Masaccio was commissioned by Giuliano di Colino degli Scarsi da San Giusto, for the sum of 80 florins, to paint a major altarpiece, the Pisa Altarpiece, for his chapel in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Pisa. The work was dismantled and dispersed in the 18th century, and only eleven of about twenty original panels have been rediscovered in various collections around the world.[8] The central panel of the altarpiece(The Madonna and Child) is now in the National Gallery, London. Although it is very damaged, the work features a sculptural and human Madonna as well as a convincing perspectival depiction of her throne. Masaccio probably worked on it entirely in Pisa, shuttling back and forth to Florence, where he was still working on the Brancacci Chapel. In these years Donatello was also working in Pisa at a monument for Cardinal Rinaldo Brancacci, to be sent to Naples. It has been suggested that Masaccio's first ventures in plasticity and perspective were based on Donatello's sculpture, before he could study Brunelleschi's more scientific approach to perspective.

This painting is one of predella panels of the Pisa Altarpiece. This subject had presented difficulties for artists because St Peter, to avoid irreverent comparison with Christ, had insisted on being crucified upside down. Masaccio meets the problem by underscoring it, the diagonals of Peter's legs are repeated in the shapes of the two pylons, which are based on the ancient Roman Pyramid of Gaius Cestius. Between the pyramids, the cross is locked into the composition. Within the small remaining space the executioners loom toward us with tremendous force as they hammer in the nails. Peter's halo, upside down, is shown in perfect foreshortening.

Art in Tuscany | Masaccio, Madonna and Child with Angels
Art in Tuscany | Masaccio, The Pisa Altarpiece (1426)
 

Martyr of St Peter,
1426, Berlin, Staatliche Museen

This painting is the central predella panel of the Pisa Altarpiece, directly beneath the enthroned Madonna and Child. Compared to Gentile da Fabriano's painting of the same subject done in Florence just a few years before, Masaccio's treatment is entirely new. Besides offering lifelike portraits of the patron and his nephew in contemporary dress at the middle right, he has given the entire scene a convincing atmosphere which surrounds the figures and the landscape. In the distance, the atmosphere breaks down the clarity of the forms resulting in an effect which is referred to as aerial perspective.

 
Adoratation of the Magi, Berlin, Staatliche Museen, Gemaldegalerie

Masaccio produced two other works, a Nativity and an Annunciation, now lost, before leaving for Rome, where his companion Masolino was frescoing a chapel with scenes from the life of St. Catherine in the Basilica di San Clemente. It has never been confirmed that Masaccio collaborated on that work, even though it is possible that he contributed to Masolino's polyptych for the altar of Santa Maria Maggiore with his panel portraying St. Jerome and St. John the Baptist, now in the National Gallery of London. Masaccio died at the end of 1428. According to a legend, he was poisoned by a jealous rival painter.

Only four frescoes undoubtedly from Masaccio's hand still exist today, although many other works have been at least partially attributed to him. Others are believed to have been destroyed.

Legacy

Masaccio profoundly influenced the art of painting in the Renaissance. Masaccio used light and perspective to give his figures weight and three-dimensionality, a sense of being in a space rather than simply on a painted surface. According to Vasari, all Florentine painters studied his frescoes extensively in order to "learn the precepts and rules for painting well". He transformed the direction of Italian painting, moving it away from the idealizations of Gothic art, and, for the first time, presenting it as part of a more profound, natural, and humanist world.


Madonna and Child with St. Anne


   

The Madonna and Child with St. Anne, also known as Sant'Anna Metterza, is a painting by the Italian Renaissance painter Masaccio, probably in collaboration with Masolino da Panicale, c. 1424. Masaccio probably painted Madonna and Child with the angel at the top, Masolino painted Saint Anne and the rest of the angels.

The Virgin and Child, with its powerful volume and solid possession of space by means of an assured perspectival structure, is one of the earliest works credited to Masaccio. But for one, the angels, very delicate in their tender forms and pale, gentle colouring, are from the more Gothic brush of Masolino; the angel in the upper righthand curve reveals the hand of Masaccio. The figure of St. Anne is much worn and hence to be judged with difficulty, but her hand, which seems to explore the depth of the picture-space, may well be an invention of Masaccio. The ‘Madonna and Child with Saint Anne’ was originally commissioned for the Sant’Ambrogio church in Florence. According to Vasari, “It was placed in the chapel door which leads to the nuns’ parlour”.

The figure of Christ is that of a young child, a realistic presence, rather than a gothic cherub. This is also one of the first paintings to display the effect of true natural light on the figure; it is this invention which imparts the modelling of form so characteristic of Masaccio, and which would have a profound influence on the painting of the Italian Renaissance.

Art in Tuscany | Masaccio and Masolino da Panicale,The Madonna and Child with Saint Anne

 
Masaccio and Masolino da Panicale, The Madonna and Child with Saint Anne , 1424, tempera on panel, 175 x 103 cm, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
   
   
 
   
Selected Bibliography

Baldini, Umberto. Masaccio. Florence, 1990.
Beck, James. Masaccio: the Documents. Locust Valley, New York, 1978.
Berti, Luciano, and Rosella Foggi. Masaccio. Catalogo completo dei dipinti. Florence, 1989.
Berti, Luciano. Masaccio. Milan, 1964. English ed. University Park, Pennsylvania, 1967.
Boskovits, Miklós, and David Alan Brown, et al. Italian Paintings of the Fifteenth Century. The Systematic Catalogue of the National Gallery of Art. Washington, D.C., 2003: 452.
Boskovits, Miklós. "Appunti sugli inizi di Masaccio e sulla pittura fiorentina del suo tempo." In Masaccio e le origini del Rinascimento. Exh. cat. Casa Masaccio, San Giovanni Valdarno. Milan, 2002.
Joannides, Paul. Masaccio and Masolino. A Complete Catalogue. London, 1993.
Longhi, Roberto. "Fatti di Masolino e di Masaccio." CdA 5 (1940): 145-191. Reprinted in Edizione delle opere complete di Roberto Longhi. 14 vols. Florence and Milan, 1956-2000. Vol. 8, 2 parts. Part 1 (1975). Fatti di Masolino e di Masaccio....
Molho, Anthony. "The Branacci Chapel: Studies in Its Iconography and History." Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 40 (1977): 50-98.
Panel Paintings of Masolino and Masaccio. The Role of Technique. Ed. Carl B. Strehlke and Cecilia Frosinini. Milan, 2002.
Salmi, Mario. Masaccio. Rome, 1932. 2nd ed. Milan, 1948.
Schmarsow, August. Masacchio-Studien. 4 vols. Kassel, 1895-1899.

John T. Spike, Masaccio, 1996, Abbeville Press Inc.
Bold and realistic, the narrative power of Masaccio's entire body of work is explored in this elegant volume. In just seven years before his death at the age of twenty-six, Masaccio (1401-1428) developed a fully naturalistic and dramatic style that inaugurated Renaissance painting. His best-known work is the fresco cycle in the Brancacci Chapel in Florence (painted with Masolino), one of the world's artistic landmarks. Recently restored, these frescoes - with all of Masaccio's other works - are shown in stunning detail in this volume. An opening essay places the painter in his historical and art-historical context, emphasizing Masaccio's innovations. The second part of the book presents two dozen important paintings in full-spread or full-page reproductions with enlarged details and annotated brief essays for each. The last section is an illustrated catalogue raisonne of all of Masaccio's works, from the frescoes on public view in the Brancacci Chapel to other panels in Europe and the United States. John T. Spike's lucid, authoritative text traces Masaccio's artistic development with particular attention to the artist's connection to Donatello and Brunelleschi. He proposes a new reading of the iconography of the influential Brancacci Chapel, and discusses the extent of Filippino Lippi's over-painting in the chapel, based on information gleaned from recent ultraviolet and infrared photography that appears in this volume. Comprehensive and engaging, this profusely illustrated exploration of Masaccio's genius opens new lines of inquiry that will be explored for decades to come.


[1]
Giorgio Vasari, Le Vite de' piu eccellenti pittori, scultori ed architettori, ed. Gaetano Milanesi, Florence, 1906, II, 287-288.

[2] The question of which painter executed which frescoes in the chapel posed one of the most discussed artistic problems of the 19th and 20th centuries. It is now generally thought that Masaccio was responsible for the following sections: the Expulsion of Adam and Eve (or Expulsion from Paradise), Baptism of the Neophytes, The Tribute Money, St. Peter Enthroned, St. Peter Healing the Sick with His Shadow, St. Peter Distributing Alms, and part of the Resurrection of the Son of Theophilus. (A cleaning and restoration of the Brancacci Chapel frescoes in 1985–89 removed centuries of accumulated grime and revealed the frescoes’ vivid original colours.) The radical differences between the two painters are seen clearly in the pendant frescoes of the Temptation of Adam and Eve by Masolino and Masaccio’s Expulsion of Adam and Eve, which preface the St. Peter stories. Masolino’s figures are dainty, wiry, and elegant, while Masaccio’s are highly dramatic, volumetric, and expansive. The shapes of Masaccio’s Adam and Eve are constructed not with line but with strongly differentiated areas of light and dark that give them a pronounced three-dimensional sense of relief. Masolino’s figures appear fantastic, while Masaccio’s seem to exist within the world of the spectator illuminated by natural light. The expressive movements and gestures that Masaccio gives to Adam and Eve powerfully convey their anguish at being expelled from the Garden of Eden and add a psychological dimension to the impressive physical realism of these figures.


Art in Tuscany | Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Artists | Masaccio, painter of Florence

Giorgio Vasari | Lives of the Most Eminent Painters Sculptors and Architects, Volume II: Berna to Michelozzo Michelozzi | Masaccio


Podere Santa Pia has everything you need for an ideal dream holiday in Tuscany. Known for its enchanting landscapes, its fantastic and genuine food and beautiful towns as Florence, Pisa, Lucca and Siena, Tuscany is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The strategical geographical position in southern Tuscany will give you the opportunity of arriving in Siena and other important cities of art in Tuscany, such as San Gimignano, Volterra and Massa Marittima. Podere Santa Pia is located in the heart of the Valle d'Ombrone, and one can easily reach some of the most beautiful attractions of Tuscany, such as Montalcino, Pienza, Montepulciano and San Quirico d'Orcia, famous for their artistic heritage, wine, olive oil production and gastronomic traditions. It is the ideal place to enjoy the beauty of Tuscany – both its cuisine and its historical towns – and to pass a very relaxing holiday in contemplation of nature, with the advantage of tasting the most typical dishes of Tuscan cuisine and its best wines.
Our exclusive holiday estate lies between Siena and Orvieto, close to Pienza, Montalcino, Arcidosso and Monte Amiata, in a protected nature reserve on the edge of the Crete Senese in Tuscany. The estate is surrounded by a stirring Tuscan landscape with farmland and woods and offers an extensive view of the Valle d'Ombrone in the distance. Situated in a charming position on the top of a smooth hillside, Podere Santa Pia offers an extensive view of a breathtaking panorama all the way to the sea. The beautifully situated terrace has views over what seems like half of southern Tuscany. On clear days you can have a great view of the islands of Monte Argentario, Elba and even Corsica.



Podere Santa Pia
Podere Santa Pia, garden view in April

Pienza


 
 
Siena, Palazzo Publico
Siena, Duomo
Val d'Orcia



Tuscany is widely regarded as the true birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, and has been home to some of the most influential people in the history of arts and science, such as Dante Alighieri, Francesco Petrarca, Giovanni Boccaccio, Sandro Botticelli, Raffaello Santi, Giotto, Donatello, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Giorgio Vazari and many others and Puccini. Due to this, the region has several museums, most of which (such as the Uffizi and the Pitti Palace) are found in Florence, but others in towns and smaller villages.

In medieval period and in the Renaissance, there were four main Tuscan art schools which competed against each other: the Florentine School, the Sienese School, the Pisan School and the Lucchese School. Some of the best known artists of the Florentine School are Brunelleschi, Donatello, Michelangelo, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Lippi, Masolino, and Masaccio.
The Sienese School of painting flourished in Siena between the 13th and 15th centuries and for a time rivaled Florence, though it was more conservative, being inclined towards the decorative beauty and elegant grace of late Gothic art.

Siena is situated on three gently rising hills in central Tuscany, close to Podere Santa Pia. The Siennese are said to speak the purist form of the Tuscan dialect which, at the unification of Italy, became the national language. Sienna is quite rightly extremely popular with tourists but because it is a town and not a village like San Gimignano, for example, it usually does not seem excessively crowded. The fine piazza, magnificent cathedral and museums, as well as the twice yearly palio and the interesting folk culture associated with it, make Siena worth intensive study. Siennese painting and architecture of the Renaissance and later is second in importance only to that of Florence in the history of Italian art.

Art in Tuscany | Between Florence and Siena

 

 
 
This page uses material from the Wikipedia articles Masaccio and Brancacci Chapel, published under the GNU Free Documentation License.