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(d c. 1417–20).

Goldsmith, sculptor, and painter, probably of German origin. None of his works is known to have survived, but he is mentioned twice in mid-15th-century texts: in the second book of Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Commentarii and in the manuscript of the Anonimo Magliabecchiano. Both texts relate that Gusmin died during the reign of Pope Martin (i.e. Martin V, reg 1417–31), in the year of the 438th Olympiad (i.e. between 1415 and 1420). He worked in the service of the Duke of Anjou, who was forced to destroy Gusmin’s greatest work, a golden altar, in order to provide cash for his ‘public needs’. Gusmin consequently retired to a hermitage where he led a saintly life, painting and teaching young artists. Although it is clear from his account that Ghiberti never knew the master or saw any of his original works, he stated that he had seen casts of his sculptures, which, he said, were as fine as the work of the ancient Greeks, although the figures were rather short. There have been numerous attempts to identify Gusmin with artists, both German and Italian, fitting the account of Ghiberti and the Anonimo Magliabecchiano. Swarzenski first named Gusmin as the author of the alabaster Rimini altar (Frankfurt am Main, Liebieghaus), but this has now been demonstrated to be of Netherlandish workmanship. Krautheimer proposed a convincing reconstruction of Gusmin’s career, suggesting that his Angevin patron was ...

Article

Elinor M. Richter

(fl Siena, 1382–1427).

Italian sculptor and goldsmith. He was married in 1382 and had three sons: Barna, a wood-carver; Lorenzo (b 1407; fl 1456), a goldsmith; and Giovanni, or Nanni (c. 1385–1455), who was also a sculptor and goldsmith. Mentioned in Pisa in 1394, Turino di Sano’s earliest documented work in Siena was the design of an engraved seal with the image of the Virgin (1410; untraced). In 1413 he was commissioned to execute a silver statue of St Crescentius (untraced) for Siena Cathedral.

On 16 April 1417 he and his son Giovanni di Turino were authorized to design two bronze reliefs for the Siena Baptistery font (in situ), which were not delivered until July 1427. The two reliefs depict the Birth of St John the Baptist (c. 1417–18) and St John the Baptist Preaching (c. 1419–20) and are both relatively conservative in design and eclectic in nature. Evident familiarity with current developments in Florence can be seen in the ...