Saint John the Baptist

Maestro di Figline

Umbria and Tuscany, first half of the fourteenth century


Tempera on gilded wooden panel, 100 x 67.5cm

Originally part of the Massari Collection, this work was purchased by the Pinacoteca in 1983. It is attributed to an unidentified artist who was also believed to have made the Maestà altarpiece for the Collegiata in Figline Valdarno, hence the name ‘Master of Figline’. Although precise details regarding the artist’s activity are not available, it is safe to say that he was active during the first decades of the fourteenth century, definitely in Assisi and probably also in Florence. The monumental, yet formally simplified figure of John the Baptist clearly demonstrates the influence of Giotto. Yet the Master of Figline did not strictly adhere to Giotto’s techniques, demonstrating a certain stylistic autonomy. Indeed, his technical solutions are closer to those of Simone Martini, as illustrated by his use of coloured paints on gold.