|......and of course H gathered lots of chestnuts for roasting|
We both love visiting Italy, and have travelled there many times over the years. Sometimes we hire a car, but this time we caught buses. It is a good way of becoming familiar with the neighbourhood and challenges your ability to make your own way around.
We have seen so much over the years, visiting the south of the country to the north and all bits in between. We now like to take our time and just concentrate on one or two of the Renaissance greats.
This year it was the turn of Luca della Robbia and family, noted for their terracotta roundels. Their sculpture conveys charm rather than the drama of the work of some of their contemporaries. They developed a pottery glaze that made their creations more durable in the outdoors and thus suitable for use on the exterior of buildings.
The principle colours used in their glazes were blue and white often highlighted with yellow. Many of the roundels and large religious plaques were completely surrounded by sprigs of leaves and fruits, which added green, and various other colours to the mix, but by and large the pallet of colours used was fairly limited.
One of the buildings showing della Robbia tondo (roundels), and familiar to many, is the Ospedale degli Innocenti, in Florence. The tondo are on the outer and inner courtyard of the building, showing babies wrapped in swaddling clothes.
Ospedale degli Innocenti, Florence - Andrea della Robbia
courtesy Warburg via wikipedia
Virgin and child showing a wreath of fruit, cones & flowers - Andrea della Robbia -Louvre
|courtesy Jastrow via wikipedia|
We stayed high up in the hills above the medieval city of Pistoia, perhaps not a name that trips readily off the tongue, but a wonderful little city with many gems from the Renaissance both architecturally and artistically. It is rather like a mini Florence but without all of the tourists, a place we love.
|Piazza del Duomo, Pistoia|
To feed the hungry and to give drink to the thirsty.
This frieze was added to the building in 1514 - 25, and only the last panel has deteriorated over the past 500 years.
A wonderful lunette over the entrance to San Zeno Duomo, Pistoia, depicting Madonna with Child and Angels by Andrea della Robbia.
We purchased our own, rather inferior, memento of the della Robbia's..............
............another day, another time the beautiful city of
The della Robbia family is quite a complicated setup - Luca (1400 - 1482) founded the sculpture studio, eventually he was joined by several of his sons, Giovanni Girolamo, Luca the Younger, and Ambrogio. Four of his nephews amongst them Andrea della Robbia, and eventually Andrea's son Giovanni, were all involved in the studio. When Luca died, his nephew Andrea, became the most influential sculpture in the family workshop.