Giovanni Pisano, Pulpit of Sant' Andrea, Pistoia

The town of Pistoia, where an uncle of his also lived, was fundamental to the artistic formation of Leonardo. His first maestro, the painter and sculptor Andrea del Verrocchio, produced many sculptures and paintings for the town’s Duomo and probably also for the Church of San Domenico, and it is possible that Leonardo collaborated on some of these commissions. The artist’s birthplace, Vinci, formed part of the diocese of Pistoia, and on his visits to Pistoia the young Leonardo would have had the opportunity to study the works of the celebrated sculptors Nicola and Giovanni Pisano, as well as fresco cycles by important painters. The town is cited numerous times in the artist’s papers, in particular those pertaining to his project for the diversion of the Arno River.