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Della Robbia and Beyond: Glazed Terracotta Sculpture of the Italian Renaissance

Posted By Catherine L. Kupiec, Thursday, April 28, 2016

The past thirty-five years have seen a vibrant renewal of interest in the medium of glazed terracotta sculpture, developed in the 1430s by the Florentine artist Luca della Robbia and produced for roughly a century by the Della Robbia and Buglioni workshops. Recent work by art historians and conservators has shed light on the high degree of technical mastery required to make these works, emphasized the inventiveness with which each generation of artists explored and manipulated the medium’s expressive potential, and extended analysis of these products beyond their birthplace in Florence. In 2016-2017, the first American exhibition of Della Robbia sculpture will be held at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. In conjunction with this event, our session seeks papers which examine glazed terracotta sculpture from the points of view of art history, conservation, and collecting.

 Paper topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • The varied approaches of artists ranging from the Della Robbia to Giovanni Francesco Rustici to the medium of glazed terracotta
  • Values and associations communicated by glazed terracotta in particular contexts (e.g., devotional, domestic, civic)
  • Workshop organization and practice
  • Nineteenth- and twentieth-century collecting, study, and display of glazed terracotta
  • New questions or approaches raised by recent conservation studies

 Please submit a 150-word abstract with your paper title, keywords, and a short CV by May 27, 2016 to Catherine Kupiec ( and Rachel Boyd (

Tags:  Art Conservation  Art History  Buglioni  collecting  Della Robbia  Florence  glaze  sculpture  terracotta  workshop 

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