Madonna and Child with Saints Francis and Ursula
Andrea della Robbia
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This glazed terracotta lunette was made for the church of Sant'Orsola in Florence and is currently housed in the portico of the Accademia dei Belli Arti in Florence. Andrea della Robbia (and his uncle Luca) made several of these lunettes to surmount exterior doors of churches, creating a colourful focus for the eye that could withstand time and weather. Here, rather than using his characteristic bichrome (white and blue) glazes, Andrea has employed not only in the frame but also for the figures a variety of colours, including a purple (which substitutes for red, which could not be done in glaze), multiple blues, and yellow (here to signifying, as gilding applied to the slick surface of glazed terracotta would not survive outdoors). This is perhaps why some have attributed this relief to one of Andrea's sons, who tended to use a greater range of colours. Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.