Maso di Banco

(fl. 1335—1350)

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(active second quarter of the 14th century).

Florentine painter. Almost nothing is known of his career (Vasari does not mention him by name and attributes some of his work to an obscure—possibly fictitious—artist called Giottino: ‘little Giotto’). However, Maso is now regarded as the greatest of Giotto's followers on the strength of Ghiberti's testimony that he was the painter of the frescos illustrating the legend of St Sylvester in the Bardi Chapel of S. Croce, Florence. The stately figures here are sometimes even more massive than Giotto's and the lucid and beautifully coloured compositions are of almost geometric clarity (although it has been argued that some of the effect of monumental simplicity may be due to restoration). On stylistic grounds other works have been attributed to Maso, including panels in Budapest (MFA), Chantilly (Mus. Condé), and New York (Brooklyn Mus. and Met. Mus.).

Subjects: Art.

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