The Legacy of the Fathers

The new sculptural style of the Renaissance is rooted in the work of Nicola Pisano, who drew his inspiration from sarcophagi and Classical finds subsequently placed in the Camposanto in Pisa, and on which further generations of Tuscan artists were also to base their work. Here the Talento Crater, formerly standing outside Pisa cathedral, is set alongside sculpture by Nicola and Giovanni Pisano, Arnolfo di Cambio, Tino di Camaino and their successors who worked on the construction site of Santa Reparata, the cathedral of Florence later rechristened Santa Maria del Fiore.

The more strictly “Classical” and monumental style inspired by the sculpture of Nicola and Arnolfo (and adopted in painting also by Giotto) sits alongside a Gothic vein introduced by the work of Giovanni Pisano and by French examples in circulation. French sculpture played a significant role, which can still be detected in the work of such great Early Renaissance sculptors as Jacopo della Quercia and Francesco di Valdambrino, from Siena. Both men took part in the competition for the second set
of doors for the Baptistry in Florence in 1401.