Virgin and Child

Italian (Florence)
first quarter of the 16th century
Andrea della Robbia (Italian (Florentine), 1435–1525)

Object Place: Europe, Florence, Italy


Overall: 101.2 x 63cm (39 13/16 x 24 13/16in.) Other (Console): 31.4 x 56.7 cm (12 3/8 x 22 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Glazed terracotta

On View

Italian Renaissance Gallery (Gallery 206)





Glazed terracotta relief set into glazed terracotta tabernacle. Moulding of framework gilded and gilt details on robe and haloes. Glazed surface gravelly on lower part of group.

The elaborate framework and traces of gliding suggest the original sumptuous effect of this imposing relief. But it is clear that a mistake occurred during production. The piece seems to have been fired at too high a temperature, which may have caused the bubbling effect in the glaze. Yet the beauty of the figures, the expressive modeling of faces and flesh, and the sweet sentiment of the piece must have convinced the artist to keep it despite the surface’s imperfections.


Quincy Adams Shaw (b. 1825 - d. 1908), Boston; 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