Madonna and Child

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Luca della Robbia
Madonna , Mary , Virgin , Christ , Jesus , Child
This half-length Madonna and Child was moved to its current location in San Michele in Lucca in c. 1910. At one point it was in a lunette over a door, but the original location of the relief is unknown -- possibly for a church in Lucca or maybe for domestic devotion. During an early twentieth century restoration, black overpaint on the eyes was removed from this glazed terracotta sculpture, revealing Luca della Robbia's characteristic blue irises, as well as what was deemed to be modern gilding, and so it unclear whether the work was originally gilded. This work was damaged at some point after firing, as a prominent crack runs from the Virgin's neck to the side of the composition. (Luca della Robbia hid joins between parts of his works cast in separate pieces in the boundaries between forms.) Not visible in the later frame in which it is currently housed is the integral purple (faux porphyry) base under the figures (like the one in Luca's Madonna currently in the Museo degli Innocenti in Florence). Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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