The painting that I chose was Masaccio's, "The Tribute Money". 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 "continuous narration." 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. "Masaccio achieves perfect perspective in this fresco by directing the viewer's eyes to the central vanishing point located behind Christ's head" (Arts and Culture, Benton, pg 301). .
"The 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 Masaccio's mature work, demonstrating full accomplishment of his revolutionary new Renaissance style. The vanishing point for the linear perspective in this work focuses on Christ's head. This point was considered to assist in drawing together all aspects of the painting (landscape, houses, and figures) in spatial unity. "All 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 Christ" (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. Masaccio's figures .
are constructed through an observational and anatomical approach.