Workshop of Andrea della Robbia
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This glazed terracotta altarpiece is one of two made for the church of San Lorenzo, Bibbiena, by the workshop of Andrea della Robbia. Because the predella contains the arms of Pope Leo X and Cardinal Bernardo Dovizi of Bibbiena, we can deduce that the altarpiece was made between 1513 (the first year of Leo X's papacy) and 1520 (the year of Dovizi's death). This altarpiece depicts the Virgin mourning her son, whose dead body, laid across her lap, is supported by John the Evangelist and Mary Magdalene. They are joined by other mourners: Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, and two women (probably the other two Maries). While the precise authorship of this altarpiece is debated (with Fornasari attributing it to Andrea's son, Luca "il giovane" della Robbia, and Gentilini suggesting Andrea in collaboration with another son, Girolamo), it is closely related to other Pietà images - both altarpieces and freestanding groups - made by Andrea della Robbia and his workshop. The altarpiece was moved and reinstalled during an expansion of the church in 1707; for this reason, the gaps between adjacent sections of glazed terracotta are now much more visibile than they would have been when first installed. Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.