Art on This Day
Born on the 21 December 1401, Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone, who was known as Masaccio, was the first great Italian painter of the Quattrocento period of the Italian Renaissance. Tribute Money shown below is a classic example of the expert realism captured in Masaccio's work. 

Masaccio, Tribute money, 1425. 


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. 
The name Masaccio is a humorous version of Maso (short for Tommaso), meaning "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 ("little/delicate Tom").
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. 


Gentile da fabriano, adorazione dei magi, Masaccio.
He also moved away from the International Gothic style and elaborate ornamentation of artists like Gentile da Fabriano, shown above, to a more naturalistic mode that employed perspective and chiaroscuro for greater realism.
Masaccio died at twenty-six and little is known about the exact circumstances of his death.