Renaissance Polychrome Sculpture in Tuscany is an open-access database of high-resolution photographs of and information about over 350 objects. All photographs are freely available for download and use in research, teaching, and publication. An interactive digital map shows the current location of each object. The platform is Queen’s University’s permanent digital archive, QSpace.

Collaboration

Una D’Elia (professor, Queen’s University), Heather Merla (PhD 2018, Queen’s University), Rachel Boyd (PhD 2020, Columbia University), and Bronwyn Bond (PhD candidate, Queen's University) created the database, working in collaboration with a team of librarians at Queen’s University led by Rosarie Coughlin. The team researched and discussed fields for organizing the information, mapping, platforms for virtual exhibitions, and best practices for carrying out research and publishing the collection. We are more than happy to share what we learned – if you would like more information about how this database was constructed, please contact Una D’Elia (deliau@queensu.ca).

Uses in Teaching

Because this database includes thousands of high-resolution photographs for research and publication, and because entries for each object synthesize previous scholarship, including conservation reports, making this information available to English-speaking audiences, the database can be used in undergraduate and graduate courses, and the students can publish their research in the form of online virtual exhibitions. For more information on using the database for teaching, please contact Una D'Elia (deliau@queensu.ca). Students in undergraduate and graduate classes at Queen’s have used the database to create exhibitions:

Cultural Itineraries

These cultural itineraries of selected objects from the database, created by Maddison Andrews (MA candidate, Queen's University) and Julia Ranney (MA candidate, Queen's University), include a wealth of historical information as well as practical details to plan a trip. When travel is not possible, the itineraries offers rich virtual tours:

  • Lights, Camera, Action: Theatricality and Renaissance Sculpture
  • Heroines, Saints & Prostitutes of Renaissance Florence & Fiesole
  • Map

    The interactive map, created by Claire Litt (ABD, Queen’s University), colour-coded by material, shows the current locations for each sculpture, with links to each object page in the database:

    Support

    We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Queen’s University Libraries, and the Department of Art History and Art Conservation at Queen’s University, without which this project would not have been possible.

    Contact

    If you have any questions or comments about the database, its construction, or its uses in teaching, research, and publication, or if you would like to contribute information and/or photographs, please contact Una D’Elia (deliau@queensu.ca).

    Using the Images

    Photographs of sculptures in this collection are freely available for teaching, research, and publication.

    Recent Submissions

    • Sacraments (reliefs from the north side of the Campanile, Florence Cathedral) 

      Andrea Pisano and workshop
      When Giotto died in 1337, Andrea Pisano became capomaestro for the unfinished Campanile (bell tower) beside the Florence Cathedral. Andrea and his workshop produced a comprehensive program of over fifty marble relief ...
    • Medieval studies (reliefs from the east side of the Campanile, Florence Cathedral) 

      Andrea Pisano and workshop
      When Giotto died in 1337, Andrea Pisano became capomaestro for the unfinished Campanile (bell tower) beside the Florence Cathedral. Andrea and his workshop produced a comprehensive program of over fifty marble relief ...
    • Theological and Cardinal Virtues (reliefs from the south side of the Campanile, Florence Cathedral) 

      Andrea Pisano and workshop
      When Giotto died in 1337, Andrea Pisano became capomaestro for the unfinished Campanile (bell tower) beside the Florence Cathedral. Andrea and his workshop produced a comprehensive program of over fifty marble relief ...
    • Planets (reliefs from the west side of the Campanile, Florence Cathedral) 

      Andrea Pisano and workshop
      When Giotto died in 1337, Andrea Pisano became capomaestro for the unfinished Campanile (bell tower) beside the Florence Cathedral. Andrea and his workshop produced a comprehensive program of over fifty marble relief ...
    • Madonna and Child with Angels 

      Andrea della Robbia
      Andrea della Robbia was paid twenty gold florins (about the cost of 7000 eggs at the time) to make this glazed terracotta lunette that was finished in 1489. It was made for the Residenza dell'Opera in the Cathedral of Santa ...
    • Crucifix 

      Unknown Florentine artist
      This painted wood crucifix by an unknown artist once hung in a prominent position above the high altar in the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. As is typical of crucifixes from the late fifteenth century, Jesus hangs in ...
    • Bust of St Mary Magdalene 

      Giovanni Bandini
      This painted terracotta bust attributed to Giovanni Bandini dates to the second half of the sixteenth century. The figure is probably Mary Magdalene who is often recognized by her long, wild hair (a reminder of her time ...
    • St. Sebastian 

      Leonardo del Tasso and Chimenti del Tasso (sculpting) and attributed to Filippino Lippi (painting)
      Leonardo del Tasso sculpted this statue of St. Sebastian for the family tomb in Sant'Ambrogio, in Florence, just before he died in 1500 (possibly of the plague, which would explain the choice of St. Sebastian). The del ...
    • Fra Girolamo Savonarola 

      Unknown Florentine sculptor (perhaps a member of the Della Robbia workshop)
      This small stucco relief depicts Girolamo Savonarola, the fiery Dominican preacher who was so persuasive that he gained control not only of the monastery of San Marco but also of the government of Venice, and held great ...
    • Christ the Redeemer 

      Unknown Florentine artist
      This painted bust dated to the first quarter of the sixteenth century loosely resembles an image type known as Christ the Redeemer that was popularized by Verrocchio and his workshop in the late quattrocento. The prototype ...
    • Dovizia 

      Della Robbia workshop, possibly Fra Mattia (Marco) della Robbia
      This glazed terracotta statuette depicts a female allegory of abundance, known as Dovizia in Italian. The woman wears a clingy, revealing dress reminiscent of an ancient goddess, and she stands confidently, balancing an ...
    • Baby Jesus 

      Unknown Florentine sculptor
      This painted wood sculpture of baby Jesus is attributed to an unknown artist and dated to the sixteenth century. It was found deep in a cupboard in the sacristy of the Cathedral of Montalcino. The sculpture is likely ...
    • Crucifix 

      Pietro Torrigiano, attributed to
      Scholars believe this painted wood Crucifix was an early work by Pietro Torrigiano, a sculptor who trained in the Giardino di San Marco in Florence and later worked in England and Spain. This sculpture is the only one made ...
    • Crucifix 

      Baccio da Montelupo
      A recent restoration in 2012 has established an attribution of this painted wood crucifix to Baccio da Montelupo, a sculptor who led a successful workshop in Florence in the second half of the fifteenth century. Similar ...
    • Crucifix 

      Giovanni di Balduccio
      As early as 1333 this painted wood crucifix attributed to Giovanni Balduccio hung in the Baptistry in Florence where it was venerated as a miraculous image. The life-size sculpture was said to be made from the sacred elm ...
    • Madonna and Child 

      Antonio Rossellino, manner of (sculpting) and Master of the Castello Nativity, attributed to (painting)
      This painted and gilded relief of the Virgin and Child is based on a prototype design attributed to the Florentine sculptor, Antonio Rossellino, and was made sometime in the 1460s when the artist was training in his brother ...
    • Madonna and Child 

      After Benedetto da Maiano
      This relief of the Virgin and Child is one among many devotional sculptures made of stucco and painted and gilded with expensive-looking materials. The sculpture probably comes from the workshop of Benedetto da Maiano, or ...
    • Coronation of the Virgin with St. Dominic and St. Francis 

      Benedetto Buglioni
      This glazed terracotta altarpiece is attributed to Benedetto Buglioni and was made on a commission for Mona Francesca in 1520, as specified by the inscription on the predella of the sculpture. Buglioni was a Florentine ...
    • Crucifix 

      Unknown Florentine sculptor
      This painted wooden Crucifix was made between 1340-50 by an unknown Florentine artist by joining two blocks of wood lengthwise. As is typical of crucifixes of the trecento, Jesus hangs low on the cross, with his arms ...
    • Bust of Cione di Lapo Pollini 

      Unknown Florentine sculptor
      This painted terracotta bust was made by an unknown Florentine artist and depicts Cione di Lapo Pollini, founder of the Ospedale di Santa Maria della Scala in 1313. The sculpture is likely not an accurate representation ...

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