Luca della Robbia

1400 - Feb 10, 1482

Luca della Robbia was an Italian sculptor from Florence. Della Robbia is noted for his colorful, tin-glazed terracotta statuary, a technique which he invented and passed on to his nephew Andrea della Robbia and great-nephews Giovanni della Robbia and Girolamo della Robbia. Though a leading sculptor in stone, he worked primarily in terracotta after developing his technique in the early 1440s. His large workshop produced both cheaper works cast from molds in multiple versions, and more expensive one-off individually modeled pieces.
The vibrant, polychrome glazes made his creations both more durable and expressive. His work is noted for its charm rather than the drama of the work of some of his contemporaries. Two of his famous works are The Nativity and Madonna and Child. In stone his most famous work is also his first major commission, the choir gallery, Cantoria in the Florence Cathedral.
Della Robbia was praised by his compatriot Leon Battista Alberti for genius comparable to that of the sculptors Donatello and Lorenzo Ghiberti, the architect Filippo Brunelleschi, and the painter Masaccio.
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