Masaccio was a prominent artist during the 15th century who greatly inspired an array of Renaissance artists. His classic depiction of biblical figures and events is a well-known aspect within his work as many are able to pin point the feature.
The man within the painting had been identified as St. Andrew based on the book and cross he holds within his hands, a symbol of his work. The painting belongs to a long line of panels conceived as altarpieces for a chapel. The mural was placed right beneath a large cross with Jesus Christ, allowing for the gaze of St. Andrew to be incredibly captivating.
At the time of the completion of the artwork of St. Andrew, Masaccio was already well known for illustrating three-dimensional paintings that carried a lot of depth, rather than the flat surfaces that most artists painted. Based on the hefty weight of St. Andrew within the artwork, Masaccio had cleverly achieved this aspect by showcasing the figure in a 3D illustration.
The religious figure stands as the focal point of the painting, seized by an object within the distance. Based on the format of he church, the viewer is now aware that St. Andrew was starring at a large cross of Jesus Christ as he is dead and nailed against the cross. The religious figures holds a breath taking facial expression as he seems slightly distraught, drowsy, and perplexed by the image in front of him.
His neutral expression is one up for debate, as some may view his emotion as contempt, yet others as adoration. The Saint is dressed in a rich green robe that falls upon his body covering his silhouette. The textile is painted in creamy shades of green ranging from light to dark. The brilliant artistry of Masaccio is showcased as he depicts the fabric through large brush strokes that show each curve within the material.
The man's grey beard falls down his face onto his green cape, covering the lower portion of his face. His hair is coloured in the same shade, yet holds glimpse of gold strands as evident in his beard.
St. Andrew holds a black book with a gold cross painted across of it, held beneath his arm. In his other arm, a large cross is held as if it weighs a feather. These two elements add to the character of St. Andrew, as the viewer is able to pinpoint him based on the items he is holding.
The background of the painting is painted in a hero gold colour as most of MasaccioÕs alter artworks were. Similar paintings in which the artist showcased a fully gold background include Maria and Child, Madonna Casini, and, St Jerome and St John the Baptist. These paintings manifest the incredible beauty of a gold shade when used against a canvas.
The gold shades throughout the background of the artwork create an immense affluent allure to the artwork as the luxurious elements of it are showcased. As history intertwined with religion and art, the significance of the artwork is only held even higher.
Masaccio beautifully displayed these elements throughout the mural as he showcased their form and attributes. The captivating presence of St. Andrew is one achieved through the power of Masaccio and his understanding of colour and technique.