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The Della Robbia family

Luca della Robbia

Luca Della Robbia was the founder of the Della Robbia family, praised by Leon Battista Alberti as being one of the fathers of the Renaissance, a cultured artist, interested in new artistic forms who succeeded in ‘inventing’ a brand new technique and thus producing “glazed terracotta sculptures and paintings”. He was, in fact, the sole artist who managed to raise the art of ceramics from being considered one of the ‘minor’ arts to being an artistic expression on the same level as that of the very best paintings and sculptures. Thanks to his nephew, Andrea, this glazed terracotta art spread all over the area, becoming more and more appreciated with an increasing number of buyers; their specialized workshop, situated in Via Guelfa in Florence, became the nucleus of its power and influence in Tuscany. Andrea’s son, Giovanni, continued to work successfully in this field from his workshop while his brothers continued creating high quality artistic objects using their great-uncle’s technique. Luca, Andrea, Giovanni and then Francesco, Marco, Girolamo and Luca the Younger: three generations of a family of artists who were an intrinsic part of the history of a century of Tuscan and Italian art.