Virgin and Child
Madonna of the Niche
Attributed to Luca della Robbia (Italian, Florence, 1399 or 1400–1482)
Object Place: Europe, Florence, Italy
Overall: 53 x 44.5 x 7 cm (20 7/8 x 17 1/2 x 2 3/4 in.)
Medium or Technique
Italian Renaissance Gallery (Gallery 206)
Niche striped with blue and green and lined up with gold. Frame gilded and hair of both figures. Replica of one in Mrs. George T. Bliss’s Collection, but not as fine. Terracotta.
By presenting the Virgin in half-length, placing the figures in a niche, pressing them forward, and emphasizing their embrace, the sculptor made the figures seem closer to the viewer. Pure opaque white glaze, traces of gilding, and the colors of the niche add brilliance to the relief. Reliefs like this were made using molds; other, very similar versions of this composition exist.
By 1894, 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)
 See Allan Marquand, "The Madonnas of Luca della Robbia," American Journal of Archaeology 9, no. 1 (January-March, 1894), pp. 2, 14, no. II (20).
Gift of Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy Adams Shaw, Jr., and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton