Nino Pisano


January 24, 2022

Nino Pisano (Pisa, about 1315 - Pisa, about 1370) was an Italian sculptor and goldsmith, active from 1343 to 1368. Son of Andrea Pisano, he was one of the greatest sculptors of the Italian fourteenth century. His style, while reworking the motifs of the great Pisan sculptural tradition from Nicola to Giovanni, moves away from his father's classicism to adhere to the innovations of French Gothic sculpture, with solutions of refined elegance, characterized by sinuous poses, nervously broken drapery and serene complacency. .

Life and works

There is no certain information about his birth, nor about his training, which most likely took place in Pisa in the workshop of his father Andrea. There have been numerous collaborations with his father, dating back to the thirties of the century, especially in the small oratory of Santa Maria della Spina where there are the statues of the Madonna della Rosa between Saints Peter and John the Baptist and the copy of the famous Madonna del Latte ( the original is now in the National Museum of San Matteo). Also for the church of the Spina, together with his father, he executed the three spiers on the high altar and sculpted a graceful Madonna with Child placed on the central spire (also preserved in the National Museum of San Matteo). He also collaborated with his father on the Saltarelli Tomb in the church of Santa Caterina in Pisa (with at least two Angels, around 1343), which however has interventions by other less skilled sculptors. He also participated in the sculpture of the tiles for the bell tower of Santa Maria del Fiore. The first completely autonomous works signed by Nino were executed around 1350: the Madonna and Child for the basilica of Santa Maria Novella in Florence; San Basilio bishop in the church of San Francesco di Oristano.A document deposited in the archives of the Opera del Duomo di Orvieto states that Nino succeeded his father Andrea as master builder of the Cathedral of Orvieto in 1349, but in an Orvieto document dated 9 March 1353 it is written that Matteo di Ugolino da Bologna assumed the position of master builder of the Opera del Duomo in Orvieto: this suggests that Nino left Orvieto to go to another place, presumably to Pisa. This supposition cannot be ascertained since the news is scarce regarding the period between 1350 and 1359; an exception is a document dated 1358, in which Nino del fu Andrea da Pontedera, goldsmith of the chapel of San Lorenzo di Rivolta, Goccio del fu Gaddo and Simone called Baschiera, undertake to create a tabula argentea cum figuris schultis for the altar of the cathedral of Pisa, lost work. Another proof of Nino's presence in Pisa comes from a later deed of assignment, dated March 15, 1362, for the funeral monument of Archbishop Giovanni Scherlatti (of which the San Paolo is of admirable workmanship), now preserved in the Museum of 'Opera of the Cathedral of Pisa. At the turn of the fifties and sixties of the fourteenth century he worked for another archbishop of the city of Pisa, designing the funeral monument for archbishop Francesco Moricotti, then executed by his pupils. Both funeral monuments are located in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo in Pisa, but previously they occupied the Aulla Chapel of the Monumental Cemetery of Pisa. Other works attributed to Nino and his workshop are: Madonna and Child, polychrome wooden sculpture in the church of San Nicola in Pisa; Crucifix in the church of San Michele in Borgo in Pisa; Marble Madonna in the church of Santo Stefano di Marinasco (La Spezia); Madonna announced and Angelo announcing, respectively in the cathedral of Oristano and in the episcopal palace of Bosa; Madonna and Child in marble, formerly in the convent of the church of Santa Maria a Mantignano (near Florence) now on deposit at the Diocesan Museum of Santo Stefano al Ponte; Madonna with Child, known as Madonna di Trapani, in the basilica sanctuary of Maria Santissima Annunziata in Trapani.One of Nino's last works is the marble group

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