542
542
Workshop of Andrea della Robbia (1435-1525)
Italian, Florence, circa 1500
RELIEF OF THE VIRGIN AND CHILD SURROUNDED BY ANGELS
JUMP TO LOT
542
Workshop of Andrea della Robbia (1435-1525)
Italian, Florence, circa 1500
RELIEF OF THE VIRGIN AND CHILD SURROUNDED BY ANGELS
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

A Venetian Legacy – An Italian Private Collection

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Workshop of Andrea della Robbia (1435-1525)
Italian, Florence, circa 1500
RELIEF OF THE VIRGIN AND CHILD SURROUNDED BY ANGELS
glazed and polychromed terracotta in a gilt and polychromed wood frame
relief: 56cm., 22in.
frame: 94 by 79cm., 37 by 31in. 
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Catalogue Note

The present relief shows a wonderfully intimate portrait of the Virgin and Child enthroned. The Child, in a childlike innocent gesture, clasps the Virgin's chest: she in return holds the toes of the Child's right foot between two fingers. Andrea della Robbia became particularly well known during his career for his various compositions of the Virgin and Child. The present relief is a variation on the so-called 'Bocca di Rio' type, named after the archetype in the sanctuary of Bocca di Rio, Santa Maria delle Grazie. With the four winged putti and the dove representing the Holy Spirit, the present relief is closer to this original than some other known versions, such as the figures analysed by Gentilini (op. cit., pp 200-201), which show more figures of winged putti. Other related models include the 'Bargello' type, with the Virgin and child in a similar pose on a garlanded roundel and lacking any putti, and the 'Liechtenstein' type, called after the rectangular model in Vaduz, part of the collections of the Prince of Liechtenstein. 

The simple intimacy of the composition, along with the sweetness and familiarity expressed in the depiction and the attractiveness of the vibrant colours, must have resonated with the contemporary Florentine audience. Andrea continued the present composition, with further variations in the Christ Child's pose, the background, and the shape of the relief, until the first decade of the sixteenth century. 

RELATED LITERATURE
G. Gentilini, I Della Robbia e l'arte nuova della scultura invetriata, exh. cat., Fiesole, 1998, nos II.12-II.13; Les Della Robbia, Sculptures en terre cuite émaillée de la Renaissance italienne, exh. cat., Musée du Louvre, Paris, 2002, pp. 94-102; I Della Robbia, Il dialogo tra le Arti nel Rinascimento, exh cat., Arezzo, 2009, no. 58

A Venetian Legacy – An Italian Private Collection

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London