The Virgin and Child with a Bird
Florence, Italy, about 1500-06
Terracotta relief, polychromed and glazed
139 x 95 cm
This work was originally made for a monastic church in Castellina, near Florence, and is a typical product of the della Robbia family workshop around 1500. This workshop was arguably at its height under the leadership of Giovanni’s father, Andrea (1435-1525), who was the originator of the figural design seen here. The compilation of frame elements, however, seems to be Giovanni’s own. The innovative glazed terracotta works of the della Robbia were extremely popular, and they repeated certain compositions to meet demand.
Purchased 1942 (No. 42.2 )