The Brancacci Chapel is inside the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence and owes its fame to the magnificent cycle of frescoes that Masolino, Masaccio and Filippino Lippi painted on the three walls, at different times in history.
The decoration was commissioned around 1425 by Felice Brancacci, the Florentine ambassador in Egypt, initially to Masolino, who subsequently collaborated with the young Masaccio, who then had to work alone for some time. Left unfinished, perhaps because of Masaccio’s trip to Rome (where he died in 1428), the frescoes were completed almost 60 years later, between 1481 and 1485, by Filippino Lippi.
On the frescoes, which depict moments in the life of Saint Peter and the Original Sin, the differences between the three creators are visible: Masolino’s delicate and elegant figures are linked to the Late-Gothic culture, which contrasts with the powerful figures of Masaccio, created using perspective and a realism so rigid that he is often included in fundamental texts about early-Renaissance Florentine painting; the Expulsion from the Garden of Eden and the Tribute Money on the left wall are considered emblematic of this change.
Compared to the seriousness of Masaccio’s frescoes, the later intervention of Filippino Lippi seems very tender, which is most apparent on the wall on the right.
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