Masaccio was one of the earliest masters within European art and created an impressive collection of works from such a short life.
Masaccio was around at the start of the 13th century when the Italian Renaissance was in it's absolute infancy and so it cannot be disputed that he was a highly influential Italian painter whose work was spread around key institutions in which he was commissioned to work.
All the most famous members of the Italian Renaissance such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael all followed on after the career of Masaccio and would have been inspired by his achievements at this early stage in art development towards all that we enjoy today.
Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone was the birthname of a painter who became best known as Masaccio and his reputation remains particularly strong in his native Italy, which at the time of his career was just a collection of provinces loosely connected together.
Italian art was to lead European art for many centuries after Masaccio had left his own legacy and there was a constant procession of influential painters from various regions of the country who were schooled by artists from previous generations which helped to keep the country's dominance going right up to the Baroque movement that followed.
Masaccio was famous for producing depictions of religious and mythical subjects which was the main way to go for artists of that time, with landscapes and abstract works being many years off coming into fashion.
It was also the religious institutions which were incredibly poweful within Italy at this time and they would always pay the most financially rewarding and reputation building commissions which would inevitably require religious based works within to decorate their own internal displays.
Masaccio came about at a truly early stage within the rise of the Renaissance, but there were still significant influences which had established themselves across the country from which painters could draw ideas and techniques after studying what had gone before.
The biggest influences on Masaccio are believed to have been Giotto, Brunelleschi, Donatello and Masolino though there was certainly less available influences at that time compared to today's spread of the modern media and the far geater acceptance of new ideas that exists within the public.