Madonna and Child with Saints Michael and Catherine of Alexandria
Andrea della Robbia and Workshop
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This glazed terracotta altarpiece in San Pietro, Radicofani is one of many depicting the Madonna and Child and Saints made by Andrea della Robbia and his workshop. The very successful formula used here and across Tuscany was to depict the Madonna and Child and saints in brilliant white glaze, set against a blue ground, and framed by classical architecture (in this case enlivened by three-dimensional and multi-coloured fruit in the pilasters, as well as richly ornamented with such classical elements as egg-and-dart and dentils). The more elevated figures are pure white, the mere border a more earthly polychromy. The Virgin Mary is emphasized here, larger than the other figures (especially if you imagine her standing), crowned by angels, and raised on a dias that is inscribed AVE MARIA GRATIA PLENA. The coats of arms are of the Archibishop Dino and the Muta family. Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.