Luca della Robbia
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This glazed terracotta roundel is one of twelve set in the walls of the Pazzi Chapel in Santa Croce in Florence, the famous work of architecture designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. The building of the chapel, which took decades, is well-documented, but the dates and even authorship of these reliefs are not and so must be established on the basis of style and technique. Unlike the four reliefs in the pendentives above, which are of highly debated attribution, however, most scholars agree in assigning these reliefs on the walls to Luca della Robbia, as both the modelling and the blue and white glazes are characteristic of his oeuvre. This relief of St. Matthias was likely made c. 1460-5. The glazing is less complex than in earlier roundels, as the concentric circles with gradations of colour used in earlier reliefs have been replaced with a single of blue, varied only in the ledges of clouds on which Matthias sits and rests his feet. The now black lines radiating from Matthias are the remains of gilding, which originally further enriched the surface. Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.