Impruneta (Florence) – Italy
An impressive number of combinations makes this work as unique as Art can be.
First, the combination of modern taste and the technique invented by Luca Della Robbia during the Renaissance. His revolutionary mixture of minerals was used to glaze large terracotta sculptures and panels and make them almost eternal. A breakthrough in the artistic production of the Renaissance pottery and a much welcomed revival today.
In 1471 Luca della Robbia bequeathed his successful factory to his nephew Simone. He didn’t trust Andrea (1435-1525), whom he believed too concentrated on getting the highest revenue from the family business.
Actually, he was more or less right, if we consider that after his death Andrea massively increased the production of glazed terracotta. However the quality of the pieces did not suffer
much from it. At least in the beginning.
Andrea was a very good artist with a businessman approach to what he considered the family “company”: he increased the number of subjects so as to please both Catholic institutions and laical Customers who favored his glazed terra-cotta, that – if not cheaper than marble – was by far easier to ship and install.
The story of the Della Robbia family begins in 1441-2 when Luca della Robbia, a cultivated and bright minded man, developed a new technique that would allow him to blend the magic of painting, sculpting and pottery making into a brand new form of artistry: the Architectural Ceramic Art.
His family was very well known in Florence for their textile business, which is somehow connected with the origin of their name: Della Robbia comes from Rubia (madder), a plant used in ancient times as a vegetable red dye for textile dyeing and for painting.