Luca della Robbia

[Madonna and Child] Sculptor. Born in 1400 in Florence, Italy; died there in 1482. He is famous as the inventor of a brilliant glaze for terra-cotta ware. Beginning with white figures on a blue ground he gradually introduced green and bits of gold, his followers increasing the use of color, especially in decorative borders of flowers and fruits. Influenced by Donatello and Ghiberti, his first work was done in marble and includes the well-known singing and dancing boys of the choir-loft of the Duomo in Florence. The bronze doors of the Old Sacristy are also his. In the ware which bears his name are beautifully sculptured plaques and reliefs, including the Madonna and Child lunette of the Via dell' Agnolo, now in the Museo Nazionale, the Madonna of the Apple in the Berlin Museum, and the Crucifixion of San Miniato.

New Catholic Dictionary

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