TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 

Loading
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
   
   
  Gothic Art

Architecture


1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 78910 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14

Sculpture and Stained Glass

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 78910 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16

Painting
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
CONTENTS
  BACK NEXT    
 
 
   
 
 
 
Gothic Art
 
 
 
 
SCULPTURE

Beauneveu Andre
Sluter
Nicola Pisano
Giovanni Pisano
Andrea Pisano
Antelami Benedetto
Arnolfo di Camio
Lorenzo Maitani
Giovanni di Balduccio
Agostino di Giovanni
Tino di Camaino
Jacobello and Pierpaolo dalle Masegne
Lorenzo Chiberti
Jacopo della Quercia
 
 
 
 
Italy



GIOVANNI PISANO.

Half a century later Nicola's son Giovanni Pisano (1245/50-after
1314), who was an equally gifted sculptor, carved a marble pulpit for Pisa Cathedral. It, too, includes a Nativity. Both panels have a good many things in common, as we might well expect, yet they also offer a sharpand instructivecontrast. Giovanni's slender, swaying figures, with their smoothly flowing draperies, recall neither classical antiquity nor the Visitation group at Reims. Instead, they reflect the elegant style of the royal court at Paris that had become the standard Gothic formula during the later thirteenth century. And with this change there has come about a new treatment of relief: to Giovanni Pisano, space is as important as plastic form. The figures are no longer tightly packed together. They are now spaced far enough apart to let us see the landscape setting that contains them, and each figure has been allotted its own pocket of space. If Nicola's Nativity strikes us as essentially a sequence of bulging, rounded masses, Giovanni's appears to be made up mainly of cavities and shadows.
 


Madonna and Child. 1305-06. Marble, height: 129 cm. Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua
Madonna and Child. c. 1299. Ivory. Treasury, Duomo, Pisa
Madonna and Child. c. 1280. Marble. Camposanto, Pisa


Giovanni Pisano, then, follows the same trend toward disembodiment that we encountered north of the Alps around 1300, only he does so in a more limited way. Compared to The Virgin of Paris, his Madonna immediately evokes memories of Nicola's style. The three-dimensional firmness of the modeling is further emphasized by the strong turn of the head and the thrust-out left hip. We also note the heavy, buttresslike folds that anchor the figure to its base. Yet there can be no doubt that the Prato statue derives from a French prototype which must have been rather like The Virgin of Paris. The back view, with its suggestion of "Gothic sway," reveals the connection more clearly than the front view, which hides the pose beneath a great swathe of drapery.


 

Pulpits in Sant'Andrea, Pistoia (1301-11)


 


Pulpit
1301
Marble, height: 455 cm
Sant'Andrea, Pistoia

 


Massacre of the Innocents
1301
Marble, 84 x 102 cm
Sant'Andrea, Pistoia

 


Story of the Birth of Jesus
1301
Marble, 84 x 102 cm
Sant'Andrea, Pistoia

 


Adoration of the Magi
1301
Marble, 84 x 102 cm
Sant'Andrea, Pistoia

 


Pulpit (detail)
1301
Marble, height: 89 cm
Sant'Andrea, Pistoia


 


Pulpits in
Cathedral, Pisa (1301-11)

 


Pulpit
1302-11
Marble, height: 461 cm
Cathedral, Pisa

 


GIOVANNI PISANO. The Nativity, detail of pulpit. 1302-10. Marble. Pisa Cathedral

 


Crucifixion
1302-10
Marble
Cathedral, Pisa

 


Pulpit (detail)
1302-10
Marble
Cathedral, Pisa
 


Pulpit (detail)
1302-10
Marble
Cathedral, Pisa

 



Isaiah (detail). 1285-97. Marble. Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena
Maria Moise (Miriam). 1285-97. Marble. Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena
Plato. c. 1280. Stone. Duomo, Siena
Sibyl. 1285-95. Marble. Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena
Haggai. 1285-95. Marbel, height: 61 cm. Duomo, Siena

 

 


Giovanni Pisano


Giovanni Pisano, (born c. 1250, Pisa—died after 1314, Siena?), sculptor, sometimes called the only true Gothic sculptor in Italy. He began his career under the classicist
influence of his father, Nicola, and carried on this tradition after his father’s death, continuously reintegrating the antique style into more northerly and contemporary Gothic forms.

Pisano began his career in his father Nicola Pisano’s workshop and so thoroughly assimilated the ideas he found there that his early work is difficult to distinguish from that of his father. It was in the contract (1265) for the pulpit in the Siena cathedral that Pisano is first specifically mentioned as an assistant to his father. Since he was at that time not referred to as “magister,” or independent master craftsman, Pisano must still have been in his teens. At any rate, by September 1285 he had rejected his Pisan citizenship and had become a resident of Siena. Around this time he began his work on the design and sculptural ornamentation of the facade for the cathedral of Siena which became, in its lavishness and ordering, the model for virtually all future Gothic facade decoration in central Italy. Unlike French examples, in which figural ornament pulsates over the entire facade, Pisano’s designs for the Siena facade offer a much more architectural approach to the problem. The lower story is simply decorated with colonnettes (small columns) and a restrained foliate pattern, which follows the vertical movement of the colonnettes. Aside from the carved lintels over the doors, figural sculpture begins at the level of the arches over the entrances with slightly larger than life-size figures of prophets and sibyls and continues throughout the rest of the facade. Although each figure inhabits a discrete niche, agitated, forward-bending poses cause them to converse across the vast space of the facade and soften the otherwise clearly stated architectonic lines that order the structure. Recent research has emphasized particularly close relationships in design between the sculpture of the Siena facade and French foliate patterns and figural reliefs, especially from the cathedral at Auxerre. Since there are no known documentary references to Giovanni Pisano between 1268 and 1278, the possibility of a trip through France during these years seems extremely likely.

Next to the Siena cathedral facade, Pisano’s pulpit in Pistoia, completed in 1301, is his greatest achievement. The five narrative reliefs of this pulpit roughly parallel the subject matter of his father Nicola’s Pisa pulpit 40 years earlier, as does the overall architectural format, but the style pushes the expressive qualities innate in Nicola’s Pisa pulpit to a new level of intensity. In the “Annunciation,” the “Nativity,” and the “Annunciation to the Shepherds,” the extreme agitation that characterizes all the reliefs for the Pistoia pulpit pulsates throughout the panel. Figures, animals, drapery, and landscape features are wrenched into physically impossible configurations; light shatters over the broken surfaces and deeply cut relief; and each figure responds convulsively to the individual situations in which he acts as a participant. What is critical to the change in style from the first Pisa pulpit reliefs to the Pistoia reliefs is a preference for an overall agitated and deeply cut surface as opposed to the earlier more massive and monumental organization of forms.

Pisano never repeated the frenzy of forms that covers the Pistoia pulpit. Instead he returned to the more stately, classical spirit that had been at the heart of his father’s earliest work. The reasons for this cannot be documented, but they most likely stem in part from Giovanni’s experience with Giotto’s monumental and heroic style which was already in the ascendancy by the time that the Pistoia pulpit was completed. Pisano, in fact, carved a marble Madonna and Child for the Arena Chapel in Padua at approximately the same time that Giotto painted his profoundly moving fresco cycle there (c. 1305). In addition, the quasi-imperial political movements established by Pope Boniface VIII at the turn of the 14th century may also have prompted him to return to more overtly classical quotations.

From 1302 to 1310 Pisano again worked in Pisa, this time for a pulpit for the cathedral. In this pulpit, now badly reconstructed after having been disassembled, the relief style is considerably more docile than that of the Pistoia reliefs. His last recorded work was a tomb sculpture for Margaret of Luxembourg in Genoa in 1311 (fragments now in the Palazzo Bianco). He was last recorded in Siena in 1314, and it is presumed that he died shortly thereafter. If, as is clear from his work in Siena, Pisano was Italy’s only Gothic sculptor, it is also true that he never lost sight of the heritage of classical Rome that underlies all of the artistic thinking of central Italy.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
CONTENTS
  BACK NEXT