Virgin and child with lilies

Italian (Florence)
Renaissance
about 1460–70
Attributed to Luca della Robbia (Italian, Florence, 1399 or 1400–1482)


Object Place: Italy

Dimensions

Overall: 48 x 38cm (18 7/8 x 14 15/16in.)

Accession Number

17.1476

Medium or Technique

Glazed terracotta

Not On View

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Sculpture

Blue, white and green with gold halos. Terracotta.


Luca della Robbia was famous for the invention and perfection of glazed terra cotta sculpture. This technique allowed the sculptor to model in the inexpensive medium of clay. Firing in a kiln imparted durability to the clay and additional firing with pigmented tin glazes achieved a lasting brilliance and purity of color. The della Robbia family workshop produced many reliefs representing the Virgin and Child: this one shows Mary as the Madonna of Humility, with the Christ Child reaching out for lilies, a symbol of the Virgin’s purity.

Provenance

Quincy Adams Shaw (b. 1825 - d. 1908), Boston [see note 1]; 1917, gift of Quincy Adams Shaw, through Quincy Adams Shaw, Jr., and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton, to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 29, 1917)

Credit Line

Gift of Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy Adams Shaw, Jr., and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton