Head of a Saint or Prophet
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.)
Medium or Technique
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)
 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.
Charles Amos Cummings Fund