Adoration of the Magi

Despite being excuted in cold-painted terracotta, rather than his trademark glazed terracotta, this sculptural group, along with the Nativity group made for the niche opposite in the Cappella della Madonna of the Cathedral of Volterra, has been attributed to Andrea della Robbia (by Giancarlo Gentilini, among others). The painting on the sculptures may have been executed by Benozzo Gozzoli, who frescoed the niche in which the Nativity is currently placed with a landscape background. The Adoration of the Magi was originally placed in this other niche, and so the landscape would have served as a reminder of the trip the Magi had made, as it does in many quattrocento paintings of the theme. Surely cold-painting, rather than glazing, was chosen here to make the figures seem a part of this frescoed scene. In these years the humanist Matteo Palmieri was the podestà of Volterra and commissioned a sculpture of his family's coat of arms from Andrea. Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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