ROBBIA, Luca di Andrea della
(b. 1475, Firenze, d. 1548, Firenze)
Adoration of the Shepherds1513-20
San Lorenzo, Bibbiena (Arezzo)
Luca di Andrea della Robbia (Luca the Younger) was the most mature and complete artist among Andrea's sons. He can be considered the only one of Andrea's descendants who was capable of bringing his father's art into line with the classical trends of the early Cinquecento. A fervent supporter of Savonarola, he and his brothers took part in the armed defence of the monk in San Marco in 1498. He was a friend of Andrea del Sarto.
There are very few documents relating to the career of Luca di Andrea. In 1494 he is cited in the documents of the San Frediano frieze, and in 1500 in those of the Chapel of San Bartolo in Sant'Agostino in San Gimignano. In 1518, he and Raphael were commissioned by Pope Leo X for producing the floors of the papal loggias. Two altarpieces, the Adoration of the Shepherds and the Deposition in the church of the Franciscan monastery of San Lorenzo in Bibbiena, generally attributed to the workshop of Andrea della Robbia, were probably executed by him between 1513 and 1520.
The classical and up-to-date language of the two altarpieces can be seen as the fruit of a successful marriage of ideas and intention between the artist and his clients, Pope Leo X and Cardinal Bibbiena, whose coats of arms are set at the ends of the two predellas. Both altarpieces shows the influence of Andrea del Sarto and Andrea Sansovino.