Nicola, an Italian sculptor, born in Pisa about 1200, died about 1278. He was the son of a notary, and seems to have derived his art chiefly from the models of antiquity. He was the first to inaugurate the renaissance period in Italian statuary. Among his most celebrated works are the marble urn of St. Dominic at Bologna (1225-31), which he finished only in part, the pulpit in the baptistery of Pisa (1260), which was placed under the special guardianship of the law, and a still finer one for the cathedral of Siena (1266). His architectural works comprise the magnificent basilica of St. Anthony (il Santo) at Padua (1231, completed in 1407), the Frari church at Venice, and Santa Trinita at Florence (about 1250), and subsequently the campanile for the church of San Nicola at Pisa, which served as a model for that of Bramante in the Belvedere of the Vatican and for Sangallo's enclosure of "St. Patrick's well" at Orvieto.
Giovanni, an Italian architect, son of the preceding, born in Pisa about 1240, died in 1320. He studied under his father, imitated many of his works, and executed with his assistance or alone the fountain near the cathedral of Perugia and the church of Santa Maria della Spina at Pisa. He attained world-wide celebrity by designing the Campo Santo in the latter city (see Cemetery), at which he worked from 1278 to 1283, when he constructed the Castel Nuovo at Naples, the model of the Paris Bastile. His sculptures are inferior to his father's; among the best of them are the marble shrine for the high altar at the cathedral of Arezzo and the mausoleums of several popes. There was another Giovanni Pisano, who was a pupil and colaborer of Donatello.
See Andrea Pisano.