A glazed terracotta dome – Santi Buglioni

The most beautiful things are the unexpected ones.

Last Sunday we decided for a trip to Bevagna (Umbria): a bit of sightseeing and some good food & wine to recharge the batteries after a busy week.
Bevagna is a small village not far from Perugia, with awesome buildings from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, cobbled streets and peoples filling the main square after Sunday mass.

Strolling around, we stepped into Saint Frances Church and we found a jewel: a glazed terracotta dome made by Santi Buglioni.

We took some pictures with the mobile phone and, despite the poor light, we believe they manage to convey the beauty of this work that is, we were to discover, not very well known.

Santi Buglioni terracotta dome - St Frances Church in Bevagna

Santi Buglioni terracotta dome - St Frances Church in Bevagna

The author of the dome, Santi Buglioni, is an Italian sculptor who lived and worked in Florence in the 16th century, when glazed terracotta was a very popular decorative technique, thanks to the talents of the Della Robbia family.

Santi inherited the secrets of this technique and actually worked with Giovanni Della Robbia in the Ospedale del Ceppo, in Pistoia, one of his most famous works, where he sculpted the frieze that runs along the entire length of the loggia of the hospital, representing the Seven Acts of Mercy.

Santi Buglioni, detail of the frieze on the Loggia of the Ospedale del Ceppo, Pistoia - Credits "The red list" website

Santi Buglioni, detail of the frieze on the Loggia of the Ospedale del Ceppo, Pistoia – Credits “The red list” website

He was mostly active in Florence, where his glazed terracotta stille decorates the Biblioteca Laurenziana, Palazzo Vecchio and the Bargello.

By Tiziana Manzetti

We went to Della Robbia exhibition!

Tiziana getting in the right mood for the exhibtion...

We made it. It’s always complicated to get organized with husbands and children to go to art events. They are not in the least interested but … Manuela and I have a secret weapon: GOOD FOOD!

We discovered a couple of years ago a nice wine bar in Arezzo, with excellent food, home made local dishes with fresh ingredient from the area. You know, ribollita, white beans, finocchiona, pecorino … Suddenly no one had any objection to a Sunday off and we met in Arezzo, under a cloudy sky, excited to see so many Della Robbia works in a single place. Continue reading

Della Robbia: Technical Innovation and Creative Genius

Italian Ceramics - Cappuccini Tondo by Luca della Robbia (1475-80), Bargello Museum, Florence - Photo Credits: www.scultura-italiana.comAccording to Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574), the famous biographer of Renaissance painters, sculptors and architects, Luca della Robbia’s technique was so revolutionary that he’d be praised for it for many centuries to come. He explained how it was not such a hard work to make a clay sculpture and the only reason why clay had not been used much so far was that it could not be preserved over time. Luca, after many experiments, managed to invent a special mixture of minerals. This glaze, used to coat the sculptures before the firing in a suitable kiln, would make them almost eternal.

Continue reading

Della Robbia: the Beginners of Italian Architectural Ceramic Art

February 21 – June 7, 2009
Arezzo – Italy

Italian Ceramics - Prudence by Andrea Della Robbia (ca. 1475) - Photo credits: The Metropolitan Museum of ArtA sumptuous exhibition in Arezzo, Tuscany, will celebrate the glory of Della Robbia family and it will put into a new perspective the relationship between the Renaissance Majolica and the “major” arts.

More than 150 Ceramic Art Works from the most important Museums of the world will be on view beginning February 21st at the National Art Museum and additional 180 large pieces will be the key attractions of 5 especially designed itineraries along the Valdarno, Valdichiana and Valtiberina valleys and the Casentino mountains.

For the very first time, Della Robbia’s ceramics will be side by side – in open dialogue, as stated by the curators – with contemporary sculptures, paintings, architectural works and decorative art pieces, such as glass, majolica, porcelain, marble and wood mosaics, prints, etc.

This unusual setting will highlight the innovative content of Della Robbia’s works while delighting the visitors with the poetic genius of Renaissance artists: Donatello, Ghiberti, Andrea del Verrocchio, Rossellino, Pisanello, Filippo Lippi, Pollaiolo, Ghirlandaio, Perugino, Lorenzo di Credi, Leonardo, Fra’ Bartolomeo, Domenico Veneziano, Fra’ Carnevale, Sansovino.

Keep reading our Articles for more info on the works and lives of Della Robbia family.

Museo Statale d’Arte Medievale e Moderna
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