ROBBIA, Luca della
(b. 1399/1400, Firenze, d. 1482, Firenze)
Madonna of the Apple1455-60
Glazed terracotta, 70 x 52 cm
Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence
Luca della Robbia's images of the Virgin Mary represent a fascinating world, a world of intimacy and motherly tenderness portrayed under milky skies filled with luminous matter. Especially popular in religious circles, they were also appreciated for their qualities of brilliance and whiteness, alluding to purity and spiritual light. An example is provided by the Madonna of the Apple (Madonna della Mela) in which the thoughtful mien of the Virgin is contrasted by the lively and greedy expression of the Child who is holding the round fruit in his hands.