MASTER of the Mascoli Altar
(active 1425-50)


Italian sculptor. His name is derived from the marble altarpiece of the Virgin and Child with Sts Mark and James in the Mascoli Chapel, San Marco, Venice. An inscription above the altar dates the foundation of the chapel to 1430, and both the figures and the architectural frame of the altar were probably commissioned at that time. Most authors also attribute the relief of the Virgin and Child with Two Angels over the exterior portal of the Corner Chapel (after October 1422) in Santa Maria dei Frari, Venice, to the Master of the Mascoli Altar. In both works the tightly pulled drapery reveals the lines of the body, accenting the pose and movement of the figures; the rather conventional Gothic frames were probably designed and executed by Venetian masons. It appears that the three sections of the Corner Chapel relief and also the figures for the Mascoli Chapel were adapted to fit into their respective frames, suggesting that the carvings did not originate in Venice but were imported and inserted into existing frames.

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