(b. ca. 1285, Siena, d. ca. 1337, Napoli)

Tomb of Gastone della Torre

Museo dell'Opera di Santa Croce, Florence

Tino di Camaino was active in Florence from the autumn of 1318 to the end of 1319. In Santa Croce he erected the tomb of Gastone della Torre, Patriarch of Aquileia, who had died in Florence in 1318; this was dismantled in 1566 (fragments in Museo dell'Opera di Santa Croce, Florence; Bargello, Florence; Palazzo Vecchio, Florence; and Liebieghaus, Frankfurt am Main).

The decoration of the sarcophagus of the della Torre monument suggests that Tino had received instructions from the patron to model the tomb on that of Cardinal Petroni in Siena, although according to one reconstruction Tino made several significant modifications to this design. The death chamber over the sarcophagus resembled a shrine more than a tent, and the group of statues above, representing the presentation of the deceased by angels to the Virgin and Child, was framed not by a small tripartite tabernacle but by a large baldacchino that rested on the console platform, enclosing the ensemble.

Compared to the Petroni tomb, the della Torre monument was more architectonic in design, but although its sculptures are stylistically related to those in Siena, the reliefs show a change in conception. While the figures in the Sienese reliefs stand or recline on the lower border of the frame in front of a plain, flat background, here a floor formed of clods of earth gives the illusion of an independent space in front of the figures. This move to an illusionistic rather than a physical representation of space was accompanied, however, by a slight flatness and loss of solidity in the figures.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.