1st Edition

The Materiality of Terracotta Sculpture in Early Modern Europe

Edited By Zuzanna Sarnecka, Agnieszka Dziki Copyright 2023
    284 Pages 26 Color & 94 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    284 Pages 26 Color & 94 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Through meticulously researched case studies, this book explores the materiality of terracotta sculpture in early modern Europe.

    Chapters present a broad geographical perspective showcasing examples of modelling, firing, painting, and gilding of clay in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands. The volume considers known artworks by celebrated artists, such as Luca della Robbia, Andrea del Verrocchio, Filipe Hodart, or Hans Reichle, in parallel with several lesser-studied terracotta sculptures and tin-glazed earthenware made by anonymous artisans. This book challenges arbitrary distinctions into the fine art and the applied arts, that obscured the image of artistic production in the early modern world. The centrality of clay in the creative processes of artists working with two- and three-dimensional artefacts comes to the fore. The role of terracotta figures in religious practices, as well as processes of material substitutions or mimesis, confirm the medium’s significance for European visual and material culture in general.

    This book will be of interest to scholars working in art history, Renaissance studies, and material culture.

    Introduction Materiality, Scale, and Status of Early Modern Terracotta 

    Zuzanna Sarnecka and Agnieszka Dziki

    PART I  Material Migrations

    1. Materiality as an Incentive to Stylistic Innovation in Earthenware from Bergen op Zoom (15th-16th century)   

    Bart van Eekelen 

      2. Making a Virtue out of a Necessity: Lorenzo Mercadante’s Use of Terracotta in Seville Cathedral   

    Nicola Jennings

     3. Episodes of the Arts of Fire in Portugal during the Renaissance   

    Pedro Flor

     PART II Terracotta and Design     

    4. Hans Reichle’s Contribution to the Practice of Terracotta Sculpture in Tyrol   

    Francesca Padovani

    5. Luca della Robbia’s Labours in Terracotta   

    Catherine Kupiec 

    6. Clay Models in Verrocchio’s Workshop 

    Dylan Smith

    7. The Primacy of Terracotta. Sculptures for Painting in Sixteenth-Century Renaissance Florence 

    David Lucidi 

    PART III Mimetic Ventures

    8. Glazed Ornament between Architecture and Altarpieces: Luca and Andrea della Robbia in Impruneta and Pescia

    Federica Carta

     9. The Transformation of Della Robbia Garland Frames: From Luca through Giovanni’s Antinori Resurrection

    Roberta Olson

     10. Face, Surface, Interface: Some Observations on Polychrome Florentine Terracotta Busts

    Andreas Huth

    11. Antonio Begarelli and Small-Scale Terracotta Sculpture

    Virna Ravaglia

    PART IV Contexts and Values

     12. Della Robbia Sculptures for Florentine Renaissance Convents

    Marietta Cambareri

    13.  "Ut firmetur quod formatum est"Augustinian Terracottas, and a Note on Two Sculptures from the Budapest Museum of Fine Arts

    Marco Scansani

    14. The Papal Clay: Firing Terracotta Sculptures in Sixteenth-Century Rome

    Zuzanna Sarnecka

    15. Exceeding Expectations: Antonio Begarelli, His Female Patrons, and the Misunderstood Materialities of White Terracotta

    Erin Giffin

    16.  Conversations on the Terracotta Sculpture in the Renaissance: Recollections, Reflections and Proposals

     Giancarlo Gentilini


    Zuzanna Sarnecka is an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Art History at the University of Warsaw.

    Agnieszka Dziki is a PhD candidate in Art History at the University of Warsaw, Poland and the University of Cologne, Germany.