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Cherub

  • Object:

    Relief

  • Place of origin:

    Florence (made)

  • Date:

    late 15th or early 16th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Robbia, Andrea della (workshop of)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    enamelled erracotta

  • Museum number:

    72-1866

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

  • Public access description

    This is an enamelled terracotta relief made at the workshop of Andrea della Robbia in the late 15th or early 16th century Florence. The relief is made in blue and white enamelled terracotta and showing a two-winged cherub, with head turned slightly to the left, holding a label of irregular shape. The surface is enamelled in white save for the eyes, which are glazed in purplish black, and the border of the label, which is blue.
    The Della Robbia family was an Italian family of sculptors and potters. They were active in Florence from the early 15th century and elsewhere in Italy and France well into the 16th. Family members were traditionally employed in the textile industry, and their name derives from rubia tinctorum, a red dye. Luca della Robbia founded the family sculpture workshop in Florence and was regarded by contemporaries as a leading artistic innovator, comparable to Donatello and Masaccio. The influence of antique art and his characteristic liveliness and charm are evident in such works as the marble singing-gallery for Florence Cathedral. He is credited with the invention of the tin-glazed terracotta sculpture for which the family became well known.

  • Physical description

    Relief in blue and white enamelled terracotta. The relief shows a two-winged cherub, with head turned slightly to the left, holding a label of irregular shape. The surface is enamelled in white save for the eyes, which are glazed in purplish black, and the border of the label, which is blue.

  • Dimensions

    Height: 34.3 cm, Width: 49.5 cm

  • Object history note

    Purchased in Florence (Gagliardi) in 1866.

  • Descriptive line

    Relief, enamelled terracotta, of a Cherub, Italian (Florence), workshop of Andrea della Robbia, late 15th or early 16th century

  • Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

    Inventory of Art Objects acquired in the Year 1866. Inventory of the Objects in the Art Division of the Museum at South Kensington, arranged According to the Dates of their Acquisition. Vol. 1. London : Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O., 1868, p. 11
    Pope-Hennessy, John. Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Volume II: Text, Sixteenth to Twentieth Century. London: HMSO, 1964, p. 228
    Maclagan, Eric and Longhurst, Margaret H. Catalogue of Italian Sculpture. London, 1932, p. 80

  • Labels and date

    72-1866
    Cherub with a Label
    Blue and white enamelled terracotta
    Workshop of Andrea della Robbia (1435-1525)
    Florentine; late 15th or early 16th century [2004]

  • Collection code

    Sculpture Collection