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MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Crowned Head

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This small head probably came from a relief panel with a scene such as that of the three kings worshiping the infant Jesus. A softer stone than marble, alabaster allows for intricate, delicate carving on a small scale. The sculptor used a drill to create the curls in the hair and beard of this...

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13th century, made as part of an unidentified sculptural ensemble [see note 1]. 1936, Jacques Cohen, New York; April 22, 1936, sold by Cohen to Joseph Brummer (b. 1883 - d. 1947), New York (stock no. N3889); 1947, sold by Brummer to the MFA for $1200. (Accession Date: November 13, 1947) NOTES: [1] The origins of the MFA Crowned Head, evidently removed from a larger ensemble, remain unclear. Christine Verzar and Charles T. Little have noted that it is "the same size and style of the body of a now-headless king on the lintel by Nicola Pisano at the cathedral of Lucca." However, this has not been verified. See their essay, "Gothic Italy: Reflections of Antiquity," in Set in Stone: The Face in Medieval Sculpture (exh. cat. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2007), 150, n. 2.

Credit Line

Charles Amos Cummings Fund

Italian, Medieval (Gothic), late 13th century

  • Follower of Nicola Pisano, Italian (Tuscany), about 1220/25–before 1284
Object Place



10.48 x 7.6 x 9.5 cm (4 1/8 x 3 x 3 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Stone; alabaster