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Giovanni Pisano

Madonna della cintolaGiovanni Pisano, son of Nicola Pisano, was probably born between 1240 and 1245.
He trained in his father’s workshop but soon left it to work on his own idea of sculpture. He preferred a strong and highly expressive style and he embraced the principles of gothic sculpture from beyond the Alps.
He worked with his father on thefountain in the square of Perugia’s Town Hall. The typically dynamic gothic style can be seen in the works of sculpture he carved for the facade of the Duomo of Siena between 1284 and 1298, depicting Prophets and Sibyls. He did not carve all of them: Abacuc, Moses, Isaiah, Argo, David and a sibyl are definitely his. These very life-like figures stretch upwards and are draped in spectacular folds of cloth.
His first Madonnas were made in this period: the Madonna with Child in the Scrovegni chapel in Padua and the Madonna della cintola in the Duomo of Prato are two examples.
Between 1297 and 1301 he worked on the pulpit of the church of S. Andrea in Pistoia. Theshape of the pulpit is Pulpito di Pistoiahexagonal and stands on six small columns; the base of two of them is a lion, another is held by a bent man and theother three rest on the ground. The parapet’s panels depict the Nativity,the Adoration of the Magi, the Massacre of the Innocents, the Crucifixion, and the Last Judgement.
Between 1302 and 1310 he worked on the pulpit of the Duomo of Pisa where he reached the limit of his search for dynamic movement. His scenes are very crowded and complex.
In 1313 he received a commission for the Funeral Monument of Marguerite of Luxemburg in the Duomo of Genova, where the almost violent statuesque style of his works is subdued.