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

Tomb of Mary of Hungary

c. 1325
Santa Maria Donnaregina, Naples

Tino di Camaino probably went to Naples towards the end of 1323 or early in 1324, although he is not documented there until May 1325. This change of residence had profound consequences for him, as can be seen in his earliest works there: the tombs of Catherine of Austria in San Lorenzo Maggiore and Mary of Hungary in Santa Maria Donnaregina, both of whom had died in the spring of 1323.

The tomb of Mary of Hungary, commissioned by her son, Robert I of Anjou, after her death on 25 March 1323, is in the left nave aisle. The elaborate Gothic monument is the work of Tino di Camaino and an unknown Neapolitan artist. Tino worked for the Angevin court between 1324 and his death in 1337; the tomb presumably dates from the mid-1320s.

In its structure and sculptural program, Mary's tomb resembles Tino's funerary monuments in Tuscany. Angels draw back curtains to reveal the gisant figure of the Queen, who is clad in the habit of a Poor Clare, or Franciscan nun, recalling her long-standing financial support of the convent and underscoring her efforts to emulate mendicant spirituality in general. The niche figures on the sarcophagus represent Mary's sons Charles Martel, Louis of Toulouse and Robert himself.

The tomb is set against a wall; the sarcophagus is supported by caryatid figures beneath a death chamber with recumbent effigy, and the ensemble is crowned by the Virgin and Child and other figures under a monumental baldacchino, an arrangement that became the prototype for many subsequent tombs. Simpler versions of the tomb of Mary of Hungary are to be seen in the monuments for Charles, Duke of Calabria (d 1328) and his second wife Mary of Valois (d 1331) in Santa Chiara, Naples.

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