Saturday, 12 April 2008

Masolino(c. 1383 – 1447)

Some paintings by Masolino da Panicale; one of the most interesting examples of a painter at the cusp of two cultural epochs, worldviews, etc. Where an sense of life suffused with a religious, spiritual understanding is meeting a new or re-awakened scientific interest in life, most obviously shown in the fascination with perspective. Masolino's spiritual sense is clearly a living one, far beyond a matter of belief, while one can sense the excitement to the mind of the vistas being opened up by the increased passion for the material universe. An already profound self is being deepened, made richer.
In time, as the 'scientific era' is more entered into, it is the spiritual sense that will typically have atrophied, and it will be the work of people like Van Gogh to re-awaken that sensibility, having passed through an excessive immersion in the material at the unnecessary expense of the inner world. Though as Masolino perhaps understood, all we have is life: these inner and outer worlds are a descent into mental artificiality.

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