Della Robbia and Florence

Della Robbia is a family of Italian sculptors, specialized in the technique of polychrome glazed terracotta invented by Luca, who opened a workshop in Florence, but later Andrea that worked in many Italian and European cities.

Luca, began his career as a sculptor alongside Donatello, later discovered the technique to make polychrome sculptures (actually only blue and white or ivory) using glazed terracotta; He developed this technique successfully and devoted himself exclusively to it by abandoning sculpture; his workshop was very active and passed on the technique to his relatives ensuring success to the family for generations.

The majolica glazed in the Florentine style are traditionally called “Robbiane”.

Della Robbia’s technique consisted in creating a terracotta relief that was then equipped with a polychrome and shiny ceramic coating, similar to that of majolica, but much more sophisticated.

The basic colors are blue and white, respectively used in the most traditional form for backgrounds and figures. To these colors are added yellow, turquoise green, brown, black.

Glazed earthenware, as already mentioned, was very suitable for outdoor use because of its resistance, but it was also very appreciated for the poorly lit interiors thanks to the brilliance of the glazed surface.

Great success and spread especially the Virgin with the Child.

The most impressive collection in the world of "robbiane" is the one kept at the Bargello National Museum in Florence, clearly visible also on the facade of the church of Orsanmichele, a beautiful coat of arms of Florence with “Giglio”, fleur –de –lis as symbol of our city.

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