The painting that I chose was Masaccioâ€™s, â€œThe Tribute Moneyâ€. In this painting, Masaccio displays his mastery of the human form. All of his figures stand in perfect contraposition giving them an easy, natural look. The story told in this painting is done in three parts, in â€œcontinuous narration.â€ In the middle of the picture, Christ (the central figure) instructs Peter (wearing blue and orange) to catch a fish, whose mouth will contain the money the tax collector demands. At the far left of the scene, Peter grabs the fish and takes the tribute money from its mouth. He then pays the tribute to the tax collector on the far right. â€œMasaccio achieves perfect perspective in this fresco by directing the viewerâ€™s eyes to the central vanishing point located behind Christâ€™s headâ€ (Arts and Culture, Benton, pg 301).
â€œThe architecture, unlike the figures, is not monumental in scale, as it would distract from the drama of the scene illustrated. The landscape background shows the use of aerial perspective and consistent lighting. The Tribute Money is an example of Masaccioâ€™s mature work, demonstrating full accomplishment of his revolutionary new Renaissance style. The vanishing point for the linear perspective in this work focuses on Christâ€™s head. This point was considered to assist in drawing together all aspects of the painting (landscape, houses, and figures) in spatial unity. â€œAll lines on the buildings in the right of the picture follow the orthogonals to the vanishing point. A mathematical division called caesura structures the painting. These are based on musical scales, and the first caesura falls upon Christâ€ (Mifflin, Houghton. Tribute Money by Masaccio, February 12, 2003. http://college.hmco.com/history/west/mosaic/chapter 7/image92.html)
The figures in The Tribute Money are individualized. Masaccioâ€™s figures