The Holy Trinity, by Masaccio

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Masaccio’s famous religious painting, “The Holy Trinity”, is known for the engagement of linear perspective to create an image that goes beyond just paint on canvas, (or should I say wall?) by creating the illusion of depth. This painting addresses many religious concepts by setting up different levels and layers in the constructed space. The characters depicted are made up of four groups of human figures, which include the Trinity (God the father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit), the Virgin Mary and Saint John, a pair of donors, and a skeleton on a tomb at the bottom of the picture. There is an apparent point of separation, which is made clear due to each group being on separate levels. Their difference in power is fundamental feature in explaining the relationship that is being portrayed between mankind and divinity in this painting. Because of Masaccio’s use and manipulation of perspective and a vanishing point – a new line of finite and infinity is crossed because visual manifestations of a hierarchical division between eternal life above, death below and the living in between are expressed. The Holy Trinity by Masaccio was done approximately in the 1400’s and shows a mastery of space and perspective and using both of these elements to convey a message. The message being that there is not a strict separation between divinity and mankind. In this picture, Christ is represented on the top half in a vaulted chapel with the Holy Spirit in the form of a white dove rests atop his halo and The Father, God, above that. Other characters that appear in this are Virgin Mary and St. John who are below and on either side of Jesus’ feet, two patrons below them and a skeleton whom lies in a tomb at the very bottom of the picture. Once orthogon... ... middle of paper ... ...station of the relationship between divinity and mankind, but also a mathematical masterpiece which can represent the harmonious and complete nature of Gods divine existence. It is understood that the nature of man is finite due to the limitations of mortality while on the contrary; the nature of the Trinity is infinite and everlasting. The relationship between the two is described through the sacrifice of Christ to save man from his mortal sins and the relationships are presented in the different levels, which indicate that man and God’s roles are very different and are of different significances. Masaccio’s use of perspective also serves as an explanation for Christ’s simultaneous sort of “divine mortality” and how this can only be explained and accounted for through the faith of his sacrifice and how this will lead man to salvation and the overcoming of mortality.
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