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Masaccio, Tribute Money, 1427
By MISSY ROSENTHAL

Machiavelli said, "I state that all men, and especially princes who are placed at a greater height, are reputed for certain qualities which bring them either praise or blame."

Artists often portray Jesus Christ as an infallible godly figure superior to humans. However, Masaccio supports the notion of humanism. Humanists believe, according to Pico Della Mirandola, "There is nothing to be seen more wonderful than man." Masaccio shows this through the apostles questioning Jesus, and rejecting the typical dogma of Christianity that Christ is all powerful. Masaccio illustrates Machiavelli's concept of how kings are not exempt from human suspicion. The artist depicts Jesus in a more realistic light which appeals to the ultra religious as well as the more reformed.
This fresco, housed in the Brancacci Chapel, showcases the scrutiny that Jesus faced in the classic biblical story, when a tax collector confronts Christ. The Brancacci Family in Florence commissioned this obscure biblical parable to be painted in order to bring awareness to the church about the authority of secular society to imposed taxes. 

Masaccio paints in the same pallet as one of his influences, Giotto. However, Masaccio develops more complex two-dimensional elements in his piece. Masaccio uses perspective in the mountains and he creates symmetry in the painting with the balanced semi circle centering around Christ.  
In conclusion, Masaccio adds a new flare to the classic techniques of Giotto and Duccio by creating balance and more dimension, therefore, transitioning art from the Pre-Renaissance Era to the Renaissance. 

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