Pulpit of Sant' Andrea, Pistoia (Giovanni Pisano)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Pulpit of St. Andrew is a masterpiece of 1301 by the Italian sculptor Giovanni Pisano, in the pieve of Sant'Andrea, Pistoia, Italy.

The work is often compared to the pulpits sculpted by Giovanni's father Nicola Pisano, in the Baptistery of Pisa and the Duomo of Siena. According to an inscription running between the pulpit's arcades and parapets, it was commissioned by one Arnoldo together with the treasurers Andrea Vitelli and Tino di Vitale, celebrating Giovanni who "was able to surpass his father in wisdom" with this work.

The structure is similar to the pulpit in Pisa: a hexagonal plan with seven columns (one in the middle), two of which are supported by lions and one by a stooping figure of Atlas, while the central one rests on three winged gryphons and the remaining ones on plain bases. The organization of the parapet's reliefs is inspired by the pulpit in Siena.

The iconographic program is also inspired by Nicola's work, with "Allegories" in the pendentives of the arches, "Sibyls" and "Prophet]]s standing on the capitals' tops, and the five parapets with the following scenes from the Life of Christ:

The sixth parapet is missing, as its side provides access to the pulpit.

The scenes are as crowded and dramatic as those of the Sienese pulpit. Most notable is the scene of the "Massacre of the Innocents", for which it has been supposed that Giovanni took inspiration from German models, or even from the Trajan column in Rome. One of the Sibyls, portrayed in the sudden gesture of fleeing towards an angel, is also of particular distinction.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Pulpit of Sant' Andrea, Pistoia (Giovanni Pisano)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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