ROBBIA, Andrea della
(b. 1435, Firenze, d. 1525, Firenze)
Ospedale degli Innocenti, Florence
Above each column of the loggia of the Ospedale degli Innocenti (Foundlings Hospital) designed by Brunelleschi is a ceramic tondo. These were originally meant by Brunelleschi to be blank concavities, but c. 1487, Andrea della Robbia was commissioned to fill them in. The design features a baby in swaddling clothes on a blue wheel, indicative of the horizontal wheel in the wall where babies could be rotated into the interior. A few of the tondi are still original, the others are nineteenth-century copies.