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Andrea Pisano

Born: c. 1270
Birthplace: Pontadera, Italy
Died: 1348
Location of death: Orvieto, Italy
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Sculptor, Architect

Nationality: Italy
Executive summary: South Baptistery doors in Florence

Andrea Pisano, also known as Andrea da Pontadera, an italian sculptor, was born about 1270, and first learned the trade of a goldsmith. He became a pupil of Giovanni Pisano about 1300, and worked with him on the sculpture for S. Maria della Spina at Pisa and elsewhere. But it is at Florence that his chief works were executed, and the formation of his mature style was due rather to Giotto than to his earlier master. Of the three world-famed bronze doors of the Florentine baptistery, the earliest one -- that on the south side -- was the work of Andrea; he spent many years on it; and it was finally set up in 1336. It consists of a number of small quatrefoil panels -- the lower eight containing single figures of the Virtues, and the rest scenes from the life of John the Baptist. Andrea Pisano, while living in Florence, also produced many important works of marble sculpture, all of which show strongly Giotto's influence. In some cases probably they were actually designed by that artist, as, for instance, the double band of beautiful panel-reliefs which Andrea executed for the great campanile. The subjects of these are the Four Great Prophets, the Seven Virtues, the Seven Sacraments, the Seven Works of Mercy and the Seven Planets. The duomo contains the chief of Andrea's other Florentine works in marble. In 1347 he was appointed architect to the duomo of Orvieto, which had already been designed and begun by Lorenzo Maitani. The exact date of his death is not known, but it must have been shortly before the year 1349.

Andrea Pisano had two sons, Nino and Tommaso -- both, especially the former, sculptors of considerable ability. Nino was very successful in his statues of the Madonna and Child, which are full of human feeling and soft loveliness -- a perfect embodiment of the Catholic ideal of the Divine Mother. Andrea's chief pupil was Andrea di Cione, better known as Orcagna. Balduccio di Pisa, another, and in one branch (that of sculpture) equally gifted pupil, executed the wonderful shrine of S. Eustorgio at Milan -- a most magnificent mass of sculptured figures and reliefs.

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