Head of a Saint or Prophet

Italian (Florence)
Medieval (Gothic)
about 1320–25
Attributed to Tino di Camaino (Italian, about 1280–1337)


33.0 x 24.1 x 27.9 cm (13 x 9 1/2 x 11 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Stone; marble

On View

Museum Council Gallery (Gallery 254)





This head has recently been attributed to Tino di Camaino, a sculptor who worked in Siena, Florence, and Naples. It may be a fragment of a monumental sculpture that was once placed over a door to the baptistery in Florence. Although the nose is broken off, the fine working of the face and the deep drilling of the beard emphatically capture the character and expression of the figure, which would have been clearly legible to onlookers on the street below.


By 1938, Edouard Larcade, St. Germain-en-Laye, France [see note 1]; July 23, 1938, sold by Larcade to Joseph Brummer (b. 1883 - d. 1947), New York (stock no. P15031); 1947, sold by Joseph Brummer to the MFA for $7800. (Accession Date: November 13, 1947)

[1] Speculations that this piece originally came either from Pisa (as noted on the reverse of an MFA photograph in the MFA curatorial file) or from the Florentine Baptistery (as suggested by Hanns Swarzenski) remain undocumented. See Anita Fiderer Moskowitz's comments in Dorothy Gillerman, ed., "Gothic Sculpture in America," vol. 1, "The New England Museums" (New York and London: Garland, 1989), p. 99, cat. no. 71.

Credit Line

Charles Amos Cummings Fund