The Nicola Pisano pulpit in Siena

Not long ago, I was fortunate to spend time in Siena, despite COVID. I’m so happy I did. I got the chance to really spend time with this masterpiece.

The Siena Cathedral Pulpit is one of the most outstanding artworks within this fabulous church. It was sculpted by Nicola Pisano and his assistants Arnolfo di Cambio, Lapo di Ricevuto, and Nicolas’ son Giovanni Pisano between the fall of 1265 and the fall of 1268.

The pulpit has seven narrative panels and nine decorative columns carved from Carrara marble. It showcases Nicola Pisano’s skill in composing sculpture forms and his able integration of classical themes into Christian traditions. These hallmarks reveal both Nicola Pisano and the Siena pulpit as forerunners of the classical revival of the Italian Renaissance.

This scene shows the Last Judgement, with the man-eating devil on the lower right side.
A close up of the devil.
Massacre of the Innocents
Flight into Egypt and the Presentation at the Temple
Visit of the Magi
The Nativity
Meeting of Anna and Elizabeth
In the Nativity, Mary looks like a Roman matron

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