MASOLINO da Panicale
(b. 1383, Panicale, d. 1447, Firenze)

Founding of Santa Maria Maggiore

Tempera and gold on panel, 144 x 76 cm
Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples

Masolino was called to Rome, perhaps on more than one occasion. There he produced a major altarpiece for the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the ancient basilicas of the city. The central panel depicts the foundation of the church on the 5th of August when after a miraculous snowfall, the pope traced its ground plan in the snow. Masolino produced a memorable scene, with Mary and Christ in a circular halo supervising the event.

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