Key to Umbria

Andrea Pisano

Andrea Pisano probably came from Pontedera near Pisa.  Nothing is known of his early career.  He is first documented in Florence in 1330, when he was already perhaps 60 years old, at which point he received the commission to make a pair of bronze doors for the south entrance of the Baptistery.  These doors contain 20 reliefs, mostly of scenes from the life of St John the Baptist.  Andrea Pisano succeeded Giotto as the architect to Florence Cathedral in ca. 1340, at which time he was involved in the sculptural decoration of the campanile.  He established a workshop in Pisa in ca. 1343.

Anita Fiderer Moskowitz (referenced below) has suggested that Andrea Pisano was in Orvieto before his period in Florence from 1330.  He acted as capomaestro of the Duomo, Orvieto in 1347-8, in the period immediately before his death.

Madonna and Child with angels (ca. 1347)

This marble figure of the Madonna and Child, which is a documented work by Andrea Pisano, was made in Pisa and translated with much ceremony to the Duomo when Andrea became capomastro.   It is superbly finished, and intended to be seen in the round.  It show no sign of weathering, and so was presumably installed on an altar inside of the church.  It is now in the Museo dell' Opera del Duomo.

Nino Pisano 

Nino Pisano was the son and pupil of Andrea Pisano.  He collaborated with his father on the work on the campanile of the Duomo, Florence.  He succeeded his father as capomaestro of the Duomo, Orvieto in 1349, but had probably relinquished this post by 1350.  With the exception of this short period, he seems to have spent his career in Pisa.  His signed works include:

  1. a figure (ca. 1345) of the Madonna and Child in Santa Maria Novella, Florence; and

  2. a similar figure (ca. 1368) that forms part of the tomb of Doge Marco Cornaro in SS Giovanni e Paolo, Venice.

Christ and Angels (1347-8)

These figures came from an altar in the left of the nave of the Duomo that might have housed the Sacro Corporale while the Cappella del Corporale was in construction.  They were moved from the Duomo to the plinths in the exterior lunette of the Porta del Corporale in 1890, and the angels were subsequently badly damaged.  They were removed from this location in 1985 and are now in the Museo dell' Opera del Duomo. 

  1. The figure of Christ is attributed to Nino Pisano.  He is seated and holds a chalice in His right hand: the wafer that was originally in His left hand has been lost. 

  2. The two angels (both of which have been damaged) were probably those that were made from the marble that Andrea Pisano (see above) sent to the Duomo in ca. 1347.  They are of inferior quality and are attributed to Tommaso Pisano.

Read more:

A. Fiderer Moskowitz, “Sculpture of Andrea and Nino Pisano”, (1987) Cambridge

Return to Art inOrvieto.

Return to “Foreign” Sculptors in Umbria.


Andrea Pisano (died ca. 1348) and

Nino Pisano (died ca. 1368)   

Umbria: Home   Cities   History   “Foreign” Sculptors in Umbria   Hagiography   Contact

Andrea and Nino Pisano in:  Orvieto