European
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workshop of Giovanni Pisano (Italian, Pisan, 1245/8–1319?),
Saint Paul , ca. 1290–1305
marble, height: 56 in.; 142.24 cm
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas C. Woods, Jr., 1965.169

One of the important sculptors of the early Renaissance, Pisano’s figures break with medieval stylization and attempt to convey human reality. The heavy, voluminous folds of the robe suggest the body underneath, while the intense scowl indicates a stern personality. The apostolic robe, book (an attribute of a writer), and sword (the instrument of his death) identify the figure as St. Paul. Only the abundant hair deviates from his standard representation. The sculpture’s size and unfinished back suggest it may have adorned an architectural complex, such as one of the Pisano workshop’s famed pulpits.

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