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The first great painter of the Quattrocento (15th century) period of the Italian Renaissance, Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone aka Masaccio (1401-1428) left behind a number of important works before his untimely death at the age of just 26. (It is believed he was poisoned by a rival painter.) He was perhaps the first painter to make use of a vanishing point in his work, and he was an innovator in linear perspective. Combined with his skillful use of lifelike recreations, these elements gave his work an unparalleled sense of three-dimensionality. Disdaining the Gothic style of ornamentation of the Middle Ages, Masaccio's use of perspective and chiaroscuro produced a more naturalistic look that gave his work a highly realistic result. Much of Masaccio's work contained Roman and Greek influences, as well as that of Giotto. His frescoes were revered by later painters and were required study for future Florentine artists.
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