Born 1401 as Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone, “Masaccio” (his nickname) was regarded as the first great Italian painter of the Quattrocento period of the Italian Renaissance. According to Vasari, he was the best painter of his generation. The first painter in the Renaissance who really understood linear perspective. He died age only 26, in 1428. “Masaccio,” said Leonardo da Vinci, “showed by perfect works that those who are led by any guide except Nature, the supreme mistress, are consumed in sterile toil.” His masterpiece was the Holy Trinity fresco in the Santa Maria Novella in Florence.