ROBBIA, Luca della
(b. 1399/1400, Firenze, d. 1482, Firenze)
Glazed and polychromed terracotta, 200 x 265 cm
During the fifteenth century the shop of Luca della Robbia developed a way of glazing terracotta sculpture so that it became quite durable and could be used for both exterior and interior spaces. Although the colours of the glazes were limited, they added brilliant polychromatic possibilities to this humble medium, and increasingly large-scale work in terracotta remained popular well into the sixteenth century, not only figures and reliefs but whole altarpieces as well.
Two lunettes representing the Resurrection and the Ascension were ordered from Luca by the Cathedral Vestry Board in 1442 and 1446, respectively. The lunette depicting the Resurrection is over the doors of the north sacristy (New Sacristy, Sagrestia delle Messe), directly under his Cantoria.