(active mid-13th century in Venice)

The "Proto"

mid-13th century
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

The decoration of the main doorway of the Basilica of San Marco is wholly Western European in style: it has affinities with the great North Italian school of Romanesque sculpture and even reveals a knowledge of contemporary developments in French sculpture. The two cycles of carvings on the doorway represent Venetian Trades and Allegories of the Months of the Year.

The first figure at the left in the cycle of venetian Trades is an old man with crutches presented in the act of biting his finger. He is traditionally identified as the "Proto" or architect of San Marco.