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Giovanni della Robbia (1469 - 1529)

Lot 1042: A Florentine Glazed Terracotta Relief Lunette of Saint Donatus, attributed to Giovanni della Robbia and his workshop, early 16th Century, the


January 12, 1996
New York, NY, US

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mitred saint clad in ecclesiastical robes and a cloak fastened with a morse at his chest, a crozier in his left hand and his right hand upraised, the dragon to the left over the well, rocky landscape with trees in the background, some chipping and restored breaks,34 by 57 in. (86.4 by 144.8 cm.). Provenance: Achille de Clemente, sold at Parke Bernet, 1931, lot 480 William Randolph Hearst, sold at Gimbel Bros., New York, 1941 Bishop Hoban, Cleveland St. John 's College, Cleveland Literature: A. Marquand,The Brothers of Giovanni della Robbia, Princeton, 1928 (Appendix), p. 184. A. Marquand, Giovanni della Robbia, Princeton, 1920, p. 145, fig. 87, nos.146, 148a. The work of Andrea della Robbia was carried on by several of his sons of whom the best known is Giovanni (1469-1529). His earliest work, the Lavabo Sta. Maria Novella (1497) exhibits the purity and charm of his father 's style. However, later we detect the "mannerisms" of Verrochio and as Marquand notes, "an excessive reliance on colour". Marquand (1928, op.cit.) also notes that "over the entrance of the old church known as S. Donato de Vecchi or Vecchietti stood a figure in half relief representing S. Donato killing a dragon with the sign of the cross. The present whereabouts of the relief is unknown. S. Donato was probably represented enthroned, blessing, with the dragon at his side, as in the case of S. Romolo of the Cathedral at Fiesole (see Marquand, 1920, no. 148, op. cit.). Compare the head of S. Donato with those of various Saints by him on pp. 170-171 in Giovanni della Robbia.

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