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Head of the Madonna

Jacopo Torriti

European Art

This mosaic is a rare fragment from the funerary monument of Pope Boniface VIII (1235–1303). Looking closely, you will be able to distinguish the smaller from the larger tesserae, the pieces of colored stone and glass tiles that make up the mosaic. The smaller tesserae, which form the face and neck of the Madonna, date to the end of the thirteenth century; the larger tesserae, added after the tomb was dismantled in 1596, make up her robe.

Recently attributed to Jacopo Torriti, who played an important role in the innovations of expressiveness and humanity that characterized late thirteenth-century art, this fragment represents the culmination of his artistic achievement. Only two mosaic fragments from Pope Boniface VIII’s tomb are known to survive: this head of the Madonna, and the Christ Child now in the State Pushkin Museum in Moscow.
  • Place Made: Italy
  • DATES 1296
    DIMENSIONS 26 3/4 × 22 3/8 × 2 13/16 in., 43 lb. (67.9 × 56.8 × 7.1 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    CREDIT LINE Museum Collection Fund and Charles Stewart Smith Memorial Fund
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Jacopo Torriti (Italian, Roman, active 1270–1300). Head of the Madonna, 1296. Mosaic, 26 3/4 × 22 3/8 × 2 13/16 in., 43 lb. (67.9 × 56.8 × 7.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Collection Fund and Charles Stewart Smith Memorial Fund, 23.26. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 23.26.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 23.26.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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