Frescoes of the Cappella Brancacci, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence


 Masaccio's birth name: Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Mone (Simone) Cassai

Born in 1401, and died in 1428 (at the age of 26).

Masaccio and his teacher Masolino were commissioned to do the frescoes by Felice Brancacci, but the work was unfinished. Some parts of the frescoes were also damaged probably because Brancacci became an enemy of the powerful Medici family. Filippino Lippi later repaired some parts and finished the remainder.

Paintings numbered 3, 7, 6 and 10 are on the front, 1, 2, 4 and 5 are on the left wall, and 8, 9, 11 and 12 are on the right wall.

1 Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, Masaccio

2 The Tribute Money, Masaccio

3 St Peter Preaching, Masolino

4 St Peter Visited by St Paul, Filippino Lippi

5 Raising of the Son of Theophilus and St. Peter Enthroned (Masaccio and Lippi)

6 St Peter Healing the Sick with his Shadow, Masaccio

7 St Peter Baptizing the Converts, Masaccio

8 St Peter Healing the Cripple and Raising Tabitha, Masolino

9 Temptation, Masolino da Panicale

10 The Distribution of Alms and the Death of Ananias, Masaccio

11 The Disputation with Simon Magus and the Crucifixion of St Peter, Filippino Lippi

12 St Peter Freed from Prison, Filippino Lippi

1 The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, Massacio.

Genesis 3:22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

  Because nude was not considered proper, some leaves were added to cover the private parts. These leaves were later removed during the recent restoration.

2 Tribute Money, Masaccio

Matthew 17: 24 After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” 25 “Yes, he does,” he replied.

When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?” 26 “From others,” Peter answered.

“Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. 27 “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”

This painting shows St. Peter three times. (i) In the middle, Peter is the one with a white beard, wearing an orange cloak and pointing fingers to the left. (ii) On the left, Peter took of his cloak and is handling fish. (iii) On the right, Peter is paying the temple tax to a Roman, who wears a tunic. The temple tax was paid to a representative of the temple, and hence the publican was a Jew.

  P.1743 - §4 Now Peter had spoken hastily. Judas carried their funds, and he was across the lake. Neither he, his brother, nor Jesus had brought along any money. And knowing that the Pharisees were looking for them, they could not well go to Bethsaida to obtain money. When Peter told Jesus about the collector and that he had promised him the money, Jesus said: "If you have promised, then should you pay. But wherewith will you redeem your promise? Will you again become a fisherman that you may honor your word? Nevertheless, Peter, it is well in the circumstances that we pay the tax. Let us give these men no occasion for offense at our attitude. We will wait here while you go with the boat and cast for the fish, and when you have sold them at yonder market, pay the collector for all three of us."

Peter appears three times in this painting.

(i) In the middle Jesus directs Peter to get a fish. Peter wears an orange cloak.

(ii) In the left, Peter retrieves a shekel from the fish.

(iii) On the right, Peter pays a shekel for both Jesus and himself to the publican, who should a Jew but wears a Roman tunic.

P.1744 - §1 All of this had been overheard by the secret messenger of David who stood near by, and who then signaled to an associate, fishing near the shore, to come in quickly. When Peter made ready to go out in the boat for a catch, this messenger and his fisherman friend presented him with several large baskets of fish and assisted him in carrying them to the fish merchant near by, who purchased the catch, paying sufficient, with what was added by the messenger of David, to meet the temple tax for the three. The collector accepted the tax, foregoing the penalty for tardy payment because they had been for some time absent from Galilee.

3 St Peter Preaching, Masolino

Act 2:13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

 4 St Paul visits St Peter in Prison, Filippino Lippi.

5 Raising of the Son of Theophilus, Masaccio and Lippi

Peter accepts Paul's invitation and goes to Antioch. He performs an apparent miracle by reviving the son of Theophilus, who was the prefect of Antioch. While the biblical scholars are still in the dark as to the identity of Theophilus, the prefect of Antioch sits in his throne with a brown hat in this painting. Luke dedicates his own Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles to Theophilus.

In Antioch, the believers in the new faith are called Christians for the first time (Josephus).

 part, "Resurrection of the Son of Theophilus" by Masaccio. Completed by his student, Filippino Lippi.

 St Peter Enthroned
The city of Antioch builds a magnificent church and in its center places a seat for Peter so that every believe can see him during his sermon. Peter stays in Antioch for seven years, and then moves to Rome and stay there for 25 years, until his death in 67 AD. Thus, this event occurred around AD 35.

There are four famous artisans huddled together in front of the door on the right. From the right: Brunelleschi. the architect of the Duomo in Florence, Leon Battista Alberti (who wrote the first scientific study of perspective "De pictura (on painting)"), Masaccio, and Masolino, his teacher.

6 St Peter Healing the Sick with his Shadow, Masaccio

 Acts 5:12 And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch. 13 Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. 14 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. 16 Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

 7 St Peter Baptizing the Converts, Masaccio

Acts 2:41Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

(by Massacio, but others may have had a hand)


8 St Peter Healing the Cripple and Raising of Tabitha, Masolino da Panicale

Acts 3:1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. 2And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; 3Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. 4And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. 5And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.

6Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. 7And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. 9And all the people saw him walking and praising God: 10 And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.

Raising of Tabitha

 Acts 9:36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. 37And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber. 38And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them.

39Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them. 40But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 41And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive. 42And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord. 43And it came to pass, that he tarried many days in Joppa with one Simon a tanner.

9 The Temptation, Masolino da Panicale

10 The Distribution of Alms and Death of Ananias, Masaccio

Acts 5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. 2 And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? 4 While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”

5 Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. 6 And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.

7 Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?” She said, “Yes, for so much.”

9 Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10 Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband. 11 So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.

11 The Disputation with Simon Magus and the Crucifixion of Peter, Filippino Lippi

(The person looking at the audience in a group of three is said to be Boticelli.)

 The first man on the right looking at the audience is Filippino Lippi. The one on the throne is Emperor Nero.
 People perusing the paintings.

12 St Peter freed from Prison, Filippino Lippi.

Acts 12:1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. 2 Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 3 And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. 4 So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.
Peter Freed from Prison

5 Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. 6 And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison.