Masonite, a popular oil painting support, was invented in 1924, in Laurel, Mississippi, by William H. Mason. The masonite boards are made using the Mason method: the wood chips are blasted into long fibers with steam and formed into boards. The boards are then pressed and heated to form finished masonite boards. I use masonite boards a lot in my own work. I get it from the lumber year (1/4”) and have them cut it up into panels for me. I prepare the board with a coat of gesso that I apply using a sponge roller. I also paint the letter “X” on the back of each panel--with gesso. This keeps the masonite from warping.
Jacopo della Quercia (1374-1448) was one of the most original Italian sculptors of the early 15th century. His best works give a sense of depth and also bear the marks of Hellenistic sculpture. Jacopo was a mysterious and ambivalent artist, but he carried Sienese sculpture to its height and influenced subsequent Sienese painters, as well as the young Michelangelo.
The figure of Acca Larentia derives from a Roman Venus and has Jacopo's characteristic fleshiness and heavy drapery. The group is psychologically integrated, for as she holds one of the chubby boys who pushes at her breast, the other jumps up to attract her attention. She looks at him with almond-shaped eyes and a smile that suggests life. So successful was the fountain that the sculptor earned the nickname "Jacopo della Fonte".
Sometimes called the only true Gothic sculptor in Italy - Giovanni Pisano (c. 1250 – after 1314) ultimately is viewed as a proto-Renaissance artist. He began his career under the classicist influence of his father, Nicola, and carried on this tradition after his father's death, continuously reintegrating the antique style into more northerly and contemporary Gothic forms. He would be a great inspiration for later sculptors such as Donatello and Michelangelo. The image here shows the figure of Plato from the west façade of Siena Cathedral. Giovanni did not share his father's taste for decorative grace. In fact, Giovanni appears to have reacted against this, and Tuscan sculpture entered a stylistic phase which was anything but graceful, finished and delicate. It was truly monumental.