Madonna and Child

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Benedetto Buglioni
This glazed terracotta tondo, housed in the Museo di San Matteo in Pisa, is typical of the work of Benedetto Buglione in the 1490s. Unable (or unwilling) to use the brighter and more opaque Della Robbia white and blue glazes, Buglione employs milkier colours. The clouds here are also given, in addition to the traditional blue and white, touches of yellow glaze. Buglione's workshop in this period produced many reliefs of the Madonna and Child from molds, but this relief is more complexly modelled and is the only surviving example of this composition. The way in which the Madonna overlaps the framing cherubs and fruit garland has led scholars to speculate that a different frame may have been intended originally, but this could be intentional -- a way to give this visionary image of the Madonna and Child floating in the clouds a kind of immediacy, by projecting them into the viewer's space. The type of beauty, energetic pose of the baby, and delicately sculpted hair and complex veil of the Virgin suggest that Buglione was looking at the works of Benedetto da Maiano and Antonio Rossellino. Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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