A new exhibition pays tribute to the great painter Masaccio (1401–28) in the city of his birth, Castel San Giovanni, in a dialogue with another leading light of Renaissance art, Fra Angelico (c. 1395–1455). The exhibition, in two venues – the Museo delle Terre Nuove and the Museo della Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie – showcases a selection of works of art designed to allow visitors to explore the innovations that Masaccio and Fra Angelico brought to art history, juxtaposing them with the work of other artists close to them and highlighting their link with the city and the region.
The Museo Terre Nuove hosts a selection of paintings depicting the Madonna and Child by Masolino, Masaccio, and his brother, Giovanni di Ser Giovanni, known as Scheggia, in addition to a polychromed stucco relief attributed to the workshop of Lorenzo Ghiberti. These works
are accompanied by an exploration of the personalities of Masaccio’s brother-in-law Mariotto di Cristofano and Andrea di Giusto Manzini, Masaccio’s assistant, who was also open to the work of Fra Angelico.
Fra Angelico is the star of the section of the exhibition in the Museo della Basilica showcasing magnificent paintings by this Dominican friar from both public and private collections and devoting a special focus to the theme of the Annunciation.
Visitors will also be able to appreciate other important works linked to the artists in the exhibition in this museum and in the nearby church of San Lorenzo, where in addition to frescoes by Lo Scheggia, a now headless depiction of a bishop saint reveals strong similarities with the San Giovenale Triptych by Masaccio in Reggello.
Thus dialogue is the key word in this engaging exhibition which offers visitors the chance to admire sophisticated masterpieces, to observe the artists’ mutual influence on one another and to reflect on the loftiest and deepest components of artistic depiction in its endless search for the truth.