The list of the very greatest sculptors in the history of Western culture is much shorter than that of painters or musicians or almost any comparable group. There are presumably Phidias and Polycleitos, and certainly Donatello and Michelangelo; there are probably Bernini and Rodin, and shall we say Brancusi? The select list also includes Giovanni Pisano, though he is not nearly as well known to a wide public. This is for various commonplace reasons, such as his having worked mostly in small towns where only the serious minority of tourists go, having lived in a culture where there were no writers about art, not having produced multiples as Rodin did, and being most available today in small-scale works. (His monumental ones are in a very poor state of preservation, having been outside in the weather for centuries.) Yet to those who are aware of him there is no hesitation about his quality, and that is true for sculptors as...


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