ROBBIA, Francesco della
(b. 1477, Firenze, d. 1527, Macerata)
Christ in Sepulchre1490s
Glazed terracotta, 185 x 185 cm
Santa Maria degli Angeli, La Verna
The Nativity and the Christ in Sepulchre on the side altars Santa Maria degli Angeli in La Verna represent one of the first examples of polychrome glazed altarpieces produced by Andrea della Robbia's workshop.
The Christ in Sepulchre represents Christ supported and mourned by the Virgin and St John. Hanging from the cross and below the cross several instruments of the Passion (crown of thorns, lashes, spear, sponge) are depicted.
Several details suggest the involvement of a new artistic personality, who could be one of Andrea's sons, probably Francesco della Robbia, to whom the two altarpieces, the Nativity and the Christ in Sepulchre, are attributed by some critics. The devotional character of the two altarpieces is compatible with the ardent religious zeal of Francesco, who entered the monastery of San Marco at the age of eighteen under the name of Fra Ambrogio. This attribution is not universally accepted.