ROBBIA, Andrea della
(b. 1435, Firenze, d. 1525, Firenze)


c. 1487
Glazed terracotta
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.