Florence art guide

Tino di Camaino


Sculptor and architect
Siena 1280 ca. - Naples 1337

The son of an architect, he worked mainly in Siena and Pisa (1312-1315), when the two principal basilicas of these cities were being built. He created the tomb of Henry VII of Luxemburg in the Duomo at Pisa. The battle of Montecatini (1315), when he fought for the Guelph troups against the Pisans, was to mark his forced return to Siena: here he worked with his father as master builder of the Cathedral for five years (the funeral monument of Cardinal Petroni, 1317-18). This was followed by a brief period in Florence (the monument to Bishop Orso in Santa Maria del Fiore) and last of all, in Naples, where the artist worked for King Robert of Anjou from 1324 until his death (carrying out, among other things, the funeral monuments for the queen, Marie of Hungary, in Santa Maria Donnaregina (1325) and for Catherine of Austria in San Lorenzo Maggiore).

allegory og charity
Allegory of Charity,
Museo Bandini

As an architect, he worked on the ship-yard, the port and on the Carthusian monastery of San Martino, but his funeral monuments certainly represented the heart of his activity. The artist renewed this form of art by freeing himself from the Gothic styles formulated by Arnolfo and by inventing a richer technique, inspired by contemporary Sienese painting (Ambrogio Lorenzetti), almost in contrast with the sculpture of Giovanni Pisano, who was also searching for new solutions in the same period but who arrived at them by means of a severe and convulsive plasticism. The influence of Tino di Camaino on this form of sculpture was to be enormous, both in Tuscany as well as in southern Italy.

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