Mary Giving her Girdle to St. Thomas
Andrea della Robbia
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This glazed terracotta lunette, now in the portico of the Accademia dei Belli Arti in Florence, was made for Santa Chiara in Florence, a small church which was renovated under the patronage of Jacopo Borgianni starting in 1493. Borgianni was a fervent follower of the Dominican Savonarola but showered his benificence on this Franciscan house perhaps because his sisters were nuns there. This work and the other lunette from Santa Chiara, also now in the portico of the Accademia, were made to be placed above altarpieces by Perugino and Lorenzo di Credi. (The Annunciation now in the cloister of the Ospedale degli Innocenti in Florence was also made around the same time to surmount a painted altarpiece in a church.) The white figures, set against a blue ground, are enlivened by the profusion of green, white, and yellow flowers that bloom from Mary's tomb, and on the ground around, honouring her fertile virginity. When these photographs were taken in 2015, a great deal of dirt was visible on the sculptures. Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.