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New exhibition at the National Gallery of Art on three generations of the Italian della Robbia family of master sculptors and their competitors

Date:

02/06/2017


New exhibition at the National Gallery of Art on three generations of the Italian della Robbia family of master sculptors and their competitors

Washington DC, February 6, 2017 – On February 5, 2017, the National Gallery of Art inaugurated a new exhibition on three generations of the Italian della Robbia family of master sculptors and their competitors. Luca della Robbia’s (1399/1400-1482) continuous research on new materials, besides the traditional marble and bronze, brought him to create a new technique that allowed his masterpieces to last several centuries without any deterioration. The technique is the glazing of terracotta, and it allowed for a durable material like terracotta to be transformed into bright and lasting masterpieces.

“As an Italian, I am proud that the works of Luca della Robbia and his contemporaries are the subject of an exhibition all to themselves which brings them once again to the attention of the US public,” said the Ambassador of Italy to the US Armando Varricchio, concluding that “their ingenuity, creativity and capacity for innovation are their hallmarks, and perfectly reflect some of Italy’s distinctive qualities.”

When visiting Italy, Americans who were passionate about Italian Renaissance art were also very fascinated by Luca della Robbia’s pieces and managed to purchase many of them. Consequently most of the works on display at the exhibition are from private American collections. On view will also be The Visitation, the sculpture usually displayed in the San Giovanni Fuorcivitas Church in Pistoia. This work together with three sculptures from the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, and one from the Oratorio di San Tommaso d’Aquino in Florence, are on view, for the very first time outside Italy.

The exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and with the support of the Embassy of Italy in Washington DC. The exhibition in Washington is made possible by Altria Group on behalf of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, and by Marchesi Antinori S.p.A. Major support is provided by Sally Engelhard Pingree and The Charles Engelhard Foundation, and the Buffy and William Cafritz Family Foundation. Additional funding is provided by The Exhibition Circle of the National Gallery of Art.

Marchesi Antinori also supported the conservation of the Resurrection of Christ, allowing it to be lent for the first time since it was donated to The Brooklyn Museum in 1898. The Friends of Florence supported the conservation of Luca della Robbia’s Madonna and Child, on loan for the first time from the Oratory of San Tommaso Aquino in Florence.

The exhibition will be open to the public through June 4, 2017.

 

The Visitation

The Visitation

c. 1445

glazed terracotta

Church of San Giovanni Fuorcivitas, Pistoia

 

For more information please visit the National Gallery of Art’s website at:

http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/press/exh/4848.html 

To learn more about this and other Italian cultural events in the U.S.: www.italyinus.org 

Website of the Embassy of Italy in Washington D.C.: http://www.ambwashingtondc.esteri.it/ 

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ItalyInUs.org 


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