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Dictionary of World Biography Masaccio (âclumsyâ, nickname of Tommaso Guidi) (1401?-1428). Italian painter, born in San Giovanni Valdarno. He lived and worked mostly in Florence until he went (1427) to Rome where he died. He probably derived from his contemporary *Brunelleschi much of the knowledge of perspective and space revealed in his pictures. In particular he mastered tonal perspective, by which an appearance of depth is achieved by gradations of colour. He is also said to have been the first to light his pictures at a constant angle from a single point of origin. The figures are solidly and realistically conceived and belong naturally to their surroundings. His finest work is generally held to be the frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel of the Carmelite Church, Florence, but the fact that he worked in collaboration with Masolino has caused an acute artistic controversy as to the part played by each. The finest of Masaccioâs undisputed works include the Expulsion from Paradise and Tribute to Caesar. Masaccio is ranked as one of the greatest figures in Renaissance art between Giotto and Leonardo da Vinci. Salmi, M., Masaccio. 1948. Masaryk, TomÃ¡Å¡ Garrigue (1850â1937). Czechoslovakian politician, writer and academic. Son of a Slovak coachman, he studied sociology and philosophy at Vienna University and in 1882 took up a professorship at the re-established Czech University at Prague, and wrote several books on philosophy, sociology and Slav nationalism. Meanwhile, in Brooklyn (1878) he married an American, Charlotte Garrigue, whose name he adopted. In 1891 he was first elected to the Reichsrat and though he resigned in 1893 he gradually became recognised as the spokesman of all the Slav minorities in the AustroHungarian Empire. He was re-elected to parliament in 1907 but when World War I broke out (1914) he at once saw it as an opportunity to obtain independence for the subject peoples. In December 1914 he escaped to Italy and in one country after another, Switzerland, France, Britain, Russia and the US, pressed his cause. He organised a Czech national council in Paris (1916) and in May 1917 went to Russia to build up a Czech Legion (mainly from prisoners of war). After the Bolshevik Revolution the Legion reached the Pacific via Siberia and reached America where Masaryk awaited it. At last (June 1918) the governments of Great Britain, France and the US recognised Czechoslovakia as an independent ally, with Masaryk as the governmentâs provisional head. In December with the AustroHungarian regime collapsed around him, Masaryk returned triumphantly as President Liberator of the new state of Czechoslovakia. As President 1918â 35, his wisdom and liberality of mind inspired the growth of Czechoslovakia as the most prosperous and progressive country of the new Europe. He retired at the age of 85 and was succeeded by Eduard *BeneÅ¡. 558 The shadow of *Hitler was already looming when he died but it was upon his son Jan Masaryk (1886â 1948) that the darkness fell. He was Czechoslovak Minister in London from 1925 until 1938, when he resigned after the Munich agreement. In World War II he was Foreign Minister in the government in exile established in England and was still holding that office when, after Germanyâs defeat (1945), the government returned to France. A fortnight after the Communists (February 1948) seized control, JanÂ Masaryk allegedly committed suicide in a fall from a window of the Foreign Office. Birley, R., Thomas Masaryk. 1951. Mascagni, Pietro (1863â1945). Italian composer. After abandoning law he became famous with the one-act opera Cavalleria Rusticana (1890). This, a brutal and melodramatic treatment of a subject drawn from working-class life, established the style of Italian opera known as verismo. None of his later operas, e.g. LâAmico Fritz (1891) and La Maschera (1901), won the same celebrity. Masefield, John Edward (1878â1967). English poet and novelist, born in Herefordshire. After an unhappy childhood, he was a merchant seaman 1889â97, discovered poetry and after intense reading (and marriage to a teacher) began composing poetry himself. Some of his finest poems and stories are concerned with the sea. Salt Water Ballads (1902) was followed by the long narrative poem The Everlasting Mercy (1911), Reynard the Fox (1919) and Right Royal (1920). His prose works include a memoir of the Gallipoli campaign, several novels, e.g. Sard Harker (1924) and literary studies. He succeeded Robert *Bridges as Poet Laureate 1930â67 and received the OM (1935). Babington-Smith, C., John Masefield. 1978. Masinissa (Massinissa) (c.238â149 BCE). King of Numidia. His state (roughly modern Algeria) was a vassal of Carthage. He transferred his allegiance to Rome during the Second Punic War (206) and his cavalry carried out the decisive charge at the Battle of Zama when *Hannibal was defeated. His kingdom grew strong and prosperous. In 150 a Carthaginian attack on Numidia, then the ally of Rome, led to the Third Punic War. Maslow, Abraham Harold (1908â1970). American psychologist and educator. His text book Motivation and Personality (1954) identified a âhierarchy of needsâ in human development and has been influential in sociology. Masolino da Panicale (c.1383â1447). Italian painter. He assisted *Ghiberti and may have taught *Masaccio, with whom he collaborated and by whose techniques he was much influenced. His most important works are the frescoes rediscovered (1843) under whitewash at Castiglione dâOlona. The frescoes in San Clemente at Rome have also been attributed to him.