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Relief - A Franciscan Friar
  • A Franciscan Friar
    Robbia, Giovanni della, born 1469
  • Enlarge image

A Franciscan Friar

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Florence (made)

  • Date:

    early 16th century (made)
    early 16th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Robbia, Giovanni della, born 1469 (sculptor)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Relief in enamelled terracotta

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is a relief of a Franciscan friar, made in the early 16th century Florence. This relief is likely made by Giovanni of Della Robbia.

The Della Robbia family was an Italian family of sculptors and potters. They were active in Florence from the early 15th century and elsewhere in Italy and France well into the 16th. Family members were traditionally employed in the textile industry, and their name derives from rubia tinctorum, a red dye.
Luca della Robbia founded the family sculpture workshop in Florence and was regarded by contemporaries as a leading artistic innovator, comparable to Donatello and Masaccio. The influence of antique art and his characteristic liveliness and charm are evident in such works as the marble singing-gallery for Florence Cathedral. He is credited with the invention of the tin-glazed terracotta sculpture for which the family became well known. Giovanni della Robbia (1469 - ca. 1529) was one of three of the sons of Andrea della Robbia (1435-1525) to enter his father's workshop. He received his own commissions from 1497 and increasingly took over the running of the workshop.

Physical description

Relief in grey and white enamelled terracotta. St. Francis is kneeling with his head turned back, his right hand resting on the ground and his left raised to shield his eyes.

Place of Origin

Florence (made)


early 16th century (made)
early 16th century (made)


Robbia, Giovanni della, born 1469 (sculptor)

Materials and Techniques

Relief in enamelled terracotta


Height: 50.8 cm, Width: 61 cm

Object history note

Purchased in Paris (Piot sale, 1864, 25-30 April, p. 24, No. 93, £3 9s. 8d.)

Descriptive line

Relief, grey and white enamelled terracotta, a Franciscan friar, probably By Giovanni della Robbia, Florentine, early 16th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Pope-Hennessy, John. Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Victoria and Albert Museum vol.1. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1964, p. 233
Maclagan, Eric and Longhurst, Margaret H. Catalogue of Italian Sculpture




Enamelled; Relief


Sculpture; Reliefs; Christianity


Sculpture Collection

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