ART HISTORY

PUBLISHER
MFA Publications, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 9 x 10.5 in. / 176 pgs / 130 color.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Out of print

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: FALL 2016 p. 45   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9780878468416 TRADE
List Price: $45.00 CDN $60.00 GBP £30.00

AVAILABILITY
Not available

"The sacred and the secular intersect in the Renaissance. These artists had faith. It is a known fact that once the sculptures went into the kiln, the artists would pray. Pray that their work of art would come out intact, but also pray to their God."

Marietta Cambareri, Museum of Fine Arts Boston

  

MFA PUBLICATIONS, MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, BOSTON

Della Robbia

Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence

By Marietta Cambareri. Contributions by Abigail Hykin, Courtney Leigh Harris.

Della Robbia

The brightly hued and technically sophisticated ceramics of a Renaissance master and his workshop

The glazed terra-cotta technique invented by Luca della Robbia, along with his exceptional skill as a sculptor, placed him firmly in the first rank of Renaissance artists in the fifteenth century. The Della Robbia studio produced dazzling multicolored ornaments for major Florentine buildings, delicately modeled and ingeniously constructed freestanding statues, serene blue-and-white devotional reliefs for domestic use, charming portraits of children and commanding busts of rulers, along with decorative and liturgical objects. Important patrons from the Medici family to the French court enhanced the reputation of the Della Robbia style and technique, which in turn inspired imitation by rival artists.

In recent years, renewed attention from art historians, backed by sophisticated technical studies, has reintegrated Della Robbia into the mainstream of Renaissance art history and illuminated the originality and accomplishments of the family’s studio, which operated into the 16th century. This beautifully illustrated companion to the first major Della Robbia exhibition in the United States brings readers into the workshops of these ingenious artists to experience one of the great inventions of the Renaissance.

Luca della Robbia's (1400–82) invention of an innovative technique for creating glazed terra-cotta sculptures was a major scientific and artistic discovery of the Italian Renaissance. Passed down to family members and developed further by each generation, the closely held technique achieved new heights of refinement and durability in modeling and color, and was praised for combining elements of painting and sculpture into a new and (in Vasari’s words) “almost eternal” medium.


Andrea della Robbia, "Madonna and Child with Cherubim," about 1485, is reproduced from Della Robbia.

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

The Boston Globe

Sebastian Smee

Renaissance mastery. A revelation… as dazzling and joyous as sunlight.

The Huffington Post

Michael Levin

astonishingly, preternaturally, gloriously stunning.

The Bay State Banner

Susan Saccoccia

fine catalog…. overlapping themes of hope, love and faith — values of Renaissance Florence.

The New York Times

Holland Cotter

Pure Beauty… expertly documented by Marietta Cambareri, the museum’s curator of European decorative arts and sculpture

The Wall Street Journal

Bruce Cole

excellent exhibition book

The Boston Pilot

Donis Tracy

explores faith through sculpture

Apollo

Xavier F. Salomon

Marietta Cambareri makes us look at the Della Robbias’ work in a new light...beautiful installed and perceptively lit...as if you are seeing them for the first time.

Burlington Magazine

Nathaniel Silver

...dramatically beautiful...reminds us that genius never loses its lustre.

Philadelphia Enquirer

Marietta Cambareri

Transcendently beautiful throughout.

Della Robbia

STATUS: Out of print | 00/00/00

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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 8/12/2016

Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence

Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence

It's hard to believe that this decorative medallion, "Roundel with Head of a Youth," was produced around 1470 AD. Made of humble terra cotta, its still vivid colors are the result of the secret glaze formula of Florentine Renaissance sculptor Luca della Robbia, which was guarded ferociously and passed down through his family for generations. It is reproduced from MFA Boston's excellent catalogue to the show on view through December 4—the first major exhibition in the United States devoted to della Robbia sculpture, which Randy Kennedy of The New York Times calls "a crowning achievement of the Renaissance that is too often overlooked amid Raphaels and Michelangelos." continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 8/1/2016

Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence

Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence, Bust of a Boy

Produced in 1475 by Andrea della Robbia, hier to uncle Luca della Robio's secret glaze formula for terra cotta relief and sculpture, "Bust of a Boy" is a masterpiece of the medium, according to Marietta Cambareri, author of MFA Boston's fascinating current exhibition catalogue, Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence. "The fleeting expression and parted lips that convey a sense of living breath give this image an especially vivid quality, thanks to Andrea’s masterful modeling and painting… Here, the sculptor conveys movement through the turning head, attentive gaze, and waving hair. The shining white glaze does not mimic flesh but still captures a truthful image of a unique little boy. Like other contemporary portrayals of children, this work illustrates a new interest in childhood and particularly in capturing its transient qualities." continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 12/11/2016

Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence

Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence

Called "a revelation… as dazzling and joyous as sunlight" by The Boston Globe and "astonishingly, preternaturally, gloriously stunning" by The Huffington Post, Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence was one of the most unexpectedly exciting exhibitions of 2016. Filled with stunningly colored and glazed terracotta artworks, both sacred and secular, the revelatory catalog is one of our Top 10 Holiday Gift Books for Art Lovers, 2016. Featured image, attributed to Lucadella Robbia, is "Madonna of the Niche," produced approximately 1445–50. See our complete Holiday Gift Guide here. continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 10/25/2016

Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence

Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence, Madonna and Child with Lilies

Produced about 1460 by Luca della Robbia, Renaissance inventor of a closely-guarded glaze formula for terra cotta relief and sculpture, "Madonna and Child with Lilies" is an excellent example of its maker's interest in naturalistic representation. Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence curator and author Marietta Cambareri writes, "The baby turns away from his mother to reach for the lilies: she cannot hold him back from the beauties of the earth, attractive as toys to this little child… This baby acts like a real little child, one who embraces recognizable elements of the world of the viewers. Lilies in their purity are a common symbol of Mary, as well as an emblem of the city of Florence; the brilliant blue sky and the verdant green carpet are signals of the natural world. The wonder of the religious idea expressed in this image is that this infant is God incarnate, his miraculous humanity emphasized by his similarity to other children." continue to blog


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