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

Monument of Bishop Antonio d'Orso

Duomo, Florence

Tino probably returned to Florence in October 1320 in order to erect the tomb of Bishop Antonio d'Orso on the interior west wall of the new cathedral (the Bishop was buried in the tomb on 18 July 1321). Much of the tomb, which is signed, is preserved in situ and comprises a base supported on consoles, a sarcophagus above borne by lions, and the seated figure of the deceased on top of the sarcophagus. The dead Bishop may originally have been seated on a throne under a small canopy, which would have provided the setting for a monumental representation of the upward journey of his soul (flanking angels in private collection; central portion untraced); this structure would have been surrounded by a baldacchino to tie the ensemble together.

The poet Francesco da Barberino, executor of the Bishop's will, had an influence on the design and programme of the tomb, the themes of which were death and both personal and universal judgement. The reliefs in the spandrels of the supports represent the Triumph of Death, and the sarcophagus relief depicts personal judgement, which takes place at the moment of death: the dead man, kneeling, is commended by the Virgin to Christ, beside whom stands St John the Baptist; on either side of this central group are angels and saints. The unique motif of the deceased sitting under a baldacchino awaiting Resurrection and the relief of the soul borne by angels must refer to the separation of body and soul after death. The gable of the larger baldacchino would have alluded to the Last Judgement.

In the d'Orso tomb reliefs Tino succeeded in recapturing that sense of solidity of form that had been lost in his attempts to represent space in the reliefs of the della Torre monument.

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