Andrea della Robbia
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This glazed terracotta altarpiece, currently housed in the Museo di San Marco in Florence, was originally made for a wayside shrine (near Castello di Legro), as is clear from the inscription (Jeremiah I: 12), calling the traveler to stop and meditate upon the suffering of The Virgin Mary, St. John the Evangelist, the Magdalene, and angels mourning over the dead Christ at the base of the cross. Mary holds her son in her lap, as in a Pietà, while John and the Magdalene support the dead and feet. None looks overtly agonized, even the generally frantic Magdalene -- instead they pray in solemn contemplation, the tranquility emphasized by the use of brilliant white glaze for the figures and cross, set against a blue ground. The less important fruit in the frame are what are given a more naturalistic range of colours, as are the imitation variegated marble panels in the predella. The heavily veiled figures and solem devotion to Christ's sacrifice have been seen as Savonarolan. Andrea and his children are documented to have been defenders and followers of Savonarola. Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.