Wednesday, May 14, 2014

V&A: Della Robbia. The Dead Christ

If you have been to Florence, or even if you are interested in Italian art, chances are you have seen the ceramic work of Giovanni della Robbia and his workshop.

I was astonished by the anguish on the face of this life-sized ceramic figure in the Victoria and Albert museum when I saw it yesterday.

The full title is "The Dead Christ with the Virgin, St. John [left], and St. Mary Magdalene; a Pieta." Made in Florence c. 1510-1515. terracotta.

From the back this group looks like a work of surrealism. This is one of the largest works della Robbia and his workshop ever attempted and it broke in several places in the kiln during the firing.

I'm still haunted by the face of St. John and this image of Christ.