Meeting of Mary and Elisabeth
Luca della Robbia 
 Italian sculptor, Florentine school 
(b. 1399/1400, Firenze, d. 1482, Firenze)
c. 1450
San Giovanni Fuorcivitas, Pistoia
White terra-cotta
153 cm
Jpg: ura-communia 
    From: Luke 1: 39-42 

    39   Now at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah,  
    40   and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.  
    41   When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.  
    42   And she cried out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!  

Luca della Robbia is famous for profecting a glazed terra-cotta in such a way that it made it resistant to damage from exposure to the outside such as wind and rain.

The "Meeting of Mary and Elisabeth" was made in this process and quite remarkable given that it's fully three demential.

Although glazed terra-cotta had long been used as earthenware, della Robbia popularized it for sculpture and this made it much cheaper to create when compared to marble. The trick was, as I understand it, a bit of metal ore was added to the clay before firing.

The medium gained popularity in fifteenth-century Florence and became a specialty of the della Robbia family studio -- as it was passed down from generation to generation.

John Singer Sargent 
Meeting of Mary and Elisabeth after Luca della Robbia 
possibly 1897

Sketch for the Joyful Mysteries, The Annunciation - The Virgin's Drapery



    Created 12/31/2002