Masolino 1338 – 1447

Peter Heals the Crippled and Raises Tabitha

fresco (255 × 598 cm) — 1425 Museum Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence

Masolino biography

This work is linked to Acts 9:36

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A fresco by Masolino with two biblical stories. To the left is the healing of a crippled man, and to the right the raising of Tabitha.

The cripple asks for alms. Peter has no money and gives the man his hand (Acts 3:6), at which the cripple is cured, gets up and praises the Lord. John is standing next to Peter.

There are two strange figures in the center. Although they are not part of the biblical story, they go well with the Florentine atmosphere of the tableau. Their presence underlines how commonplace the scene is supposed to be, as does the washing hanging from several windows.

Tabitha was a pious follower of Christ, known for her alms and good works. After she died, Peter raised her with a prayer (Acts 9:36-40).

Some claim that the background was painted by Masaccio, who made the other frescoes in the chapel, and who was quite enthusiastic about the possibilities of perspective. However, the perspective here is not particularly good – all proportion between figures and buildings is completely lost.

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