Tabernacle front, fragment

Della Robbia Workshop16th century

MNAA National Museum of Ancient Art

MNAA National Museum of Ancient Art
Lisbon, Portugal

The polychrome and glazed ceramic works originally in the Convent of Madre de Deus in Lisbon, founded by Queen Leonor (1458-1525) in 1509, constitute the most coherent set of Florentine ceramic sculpture produced at the Della workshop and currently existing in Portugal. They result from the Renaissance taste that marked the period of the convent’s foundation and the queen’s patronage of this institution. Originally designed as a small altarpiece and used to house the Eucharist, this tabernacle, the central body of which is shown here, would have been located in the original church.
The classicist portico frames the tabernacle, the small house of God that is shown to us by the young angels; above the architrave are child-angels, their hands placed together in prayer and worshipping the cross (?), which has since disappeared. It was made at the Della Robbia workshop, under the supervision of Andrea (1435-1525), based on a model created by the sculptor Desiderio da Settignano (1430-1464).


  • Title: Tabernacle front, fragment
  • Creator: Della Robbia Workshop
  • Date Created: 16th century
  • Location Created: Florence
  • Physical Dimensions: 131.5 cm x 73 cm x 12.5 cm
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: MNAA Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, inv. 676 Esc
  • Medium: Polychrome and glazed baked clay

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