GIOVANNI DI BALDUCCIO
(active 1315-1349)

Biography

Italian sculptor. He is first documented in 1317-18 in the cathedral workshop in Pisa, where he was being paid a modest daily wage. In 1349 he was asked, while living in Milan, to take charge of the cathedral works in Pisa, but he was still resident in Milan towards the end of 1349, and he may have died there soon afterwards. His style is known from four signed works, which have formed the basis for a reconstruction of his oeuvre: the tomb of Guarniero degli Antelminelli (c. 1327-28) in San Francesco, Sarzana; the pulpit in Santa Maria del Prato in San Casciano, near Florence; the shrine of St Peter Martyr (dated 1339) in Sant'Eustorgio, Milan; and the architrave (1347) from the main portal of Santa Maria di Brera, Milan (fragments in Castello Sforzesco, Milan).

Giovanni developed a distinctive, slightly mannered modelling style based on that of Giovanni Pisano, but he made no attempt to adopt the latter's powerful plasticity and dramatic expressiveness. Through his work in Milan, he introduced into Lombardy the formal vocabulary of Tuscan Gothic sculpture, of the kind that had been developed by Nicola and Giovanni Pisano and by such Sienese sculptors of the early 14th century as Gano di Fazio and Tino di Camaino.